Friday, November 21, 2014

Farm Fun: Distelrath Farms

I have never felt the desire to really immerse myself into a farm - we've visited places like Trader's Point Creamery, Waterman's, Kelsay's and the like, but the concept of a co-op like Distelrath Farm is very intriguing to me. Granted I haven't jumped in and joined officially quite yet - work schedules, and littles under the age of one make committing to anything a wee bit difficult. But I love this place and venture there as often as our schedule allows. (thank you to Sarah for putting up with us)

One of the activities we were invited to take part in this summer was a Sunflower Harvest. Something just sounds so blissfully fall and memory making about this. We ventured out, cut sunflower heads, gathered them up in the bed of a pick-up truck, hauled them to a wide open space, and laid them out on the grass once back at the farm and laid out a blanket for everyone, mom's, families, babies, toddlers, children, to all sit and hand remove as many seeds as you could or wanted to and conversed, enjoyed one another's company, and revelled in being outdoors.

At one point my youngest, fell asleep on the blanket, surrounded by seeds and the sounds of chickens and her big sister running around and playing with her friend. Moments that pull at the heart strings.

My kind of bliss. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Things to Do as a Family: Kelsay Farms

Living only a few miles from this agritourism location, I am a little ashamed to say that we just now visited this past fall. Here I like to think of myself as a hometown tourist -- tsk tsk.

Well we finally made it! Loved how everything at Kelsey Farms (except food and products) is included in the admission cost. No repetitive explanations about why no we are not going to do this or that because it costs extras.

Tours - included.
Fun zones - included.
Train rides - included.
Activities - included.
Plywood cow milking - included.

Families - relieved. :)

Dispelling the Fear: Becoming a Young Living Wholesale Member

When people hear the phrases ‘signing up for,’ ‘enrolling in,’ or ‘becoming a member of" in association with getting involved a company or purchasing a product - they get scared, mad, or just all around uneasy! I have never received so much hostility and skepticism before I started telling people about YL products - it has seriously surprised me. No one wants to be duped or pay more than the product is worth, or agree blindly to any type of commitment that you don’t know enough about, am I right??

Well, let me give it to you straight. Yes it is true, the way Young Living operates as a business is as a MLM - a network marketing organization...deep breaths be completely honest -this is not bad! This simply means they strive on word of mouth - as much products do - friends sharing with friends about products that have changed their life.

With Young Living being a Wholesale Member simply means you get Wholesale Prices - nothing more....and that is it....unless you want it to mean something more but that is totally up to you.

Signing up as a Young Living Wholesale Member just means that you get to purchase your products at great wholesale prices, 24% off retail. A good way to think of it is as being similar to having a membership to Costco or Sam’s Club - except you don't pay annual fees to be in the "club". Your "fee" if, you will, is just ordering a Premium Starter Kit - so it straight out equals product you will receive in your remain a "wholesale member" you need to spend $50 a calendar year on additional product FOR YOURSELF...and the first year is taken care of by purchasing the Premium Starter Kit....after that you are just replacing oils with the ones you ran out of in the kit or ordering other oils that didn't come in your kit, etc.

Let me dispel some concerns commonly associated with any sort of MLM:
  • You DO NOT have to tell anyone about Young Living.
    (I am amazed by these oils and cannot keep them to myself - so I share with others!)
  • You DO NOT have to sell their products.
  • You DO NOT have to carry any sort of inventory.
  • You DO NOT have to make this a business.
  • You DO get a discount.

If you want to tell others about Young Living or even make it into a legitimate business, you can certainly do so. But simply enrolling as a "Wholesale Member" in no way commits you to doing that.

Ready to give Young Living a try? You won't be disappointed... Click here >> wholesale membership, or get ahold of me if you still have questions or concerns!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Getting Started with Essential Oils

I first fell in love with essential oils with my first whiff of lavender. Lavender was my gateway oil! :) I have planted my own lavender plants, coveted everything lavender scented, and gradually acquired my first bottle of lavender essential oil while newly pregnant with my first child through a friend and neighbor who was clearing out her own birth oil kit stash. I still have that first bottle of lavender oil - though it is nearly empty now!

My first two oil experiences were lavender and clary sage - which through some freak accident unknowingly fell into our toaster and melted the cap - that was one RELAXED morning! :) But slowly my collection grew as did my excitement for their uses in promoting a healthy family lifestyle - and now that my first bottles are dwindling I decided to finally give Young Living a try after hearing so many great things from several close friends and having had a chance to experience them at workshops.

And truth be told - they DO indeed live up the hype. I was skeptical - I mean why can't we all just use what we find in GNC or Earth Fare? Sure - I have tried them and they are ok. But after experiencing what a true Seed to Seal quality of oil like Young Living’s is actually like - you realize how much you were missing out. Definite difference in quality - and coming from a skeptic's mouth - means a lot. Opening that Young Living Lavender bottle was like woah! - so much stronger! And if you look into my two diffusers - there is a huge difference. My Young Living diffuser has only ever had young living oils - and is clean, not discolored and no residue or weird smells. My other diffuser had the off brand oils is discolored in the water basin where the oils touch it and occasionally gets a really "off" weird smell. :( I should do a picture to show the difference - maybe here soon!

Essential oils are such a great experience, makes your home smell like a heavenly spa without all the unwanted chemicals or waxes (and headaches that come along with them) that candles or commercial air fresheners have and oils have so many great health benefits beyond pampering the nose!

I am so happy now that I have the Young Living Premium Starter Kit. Having dabbled off and on with off-brand oils for over a year I was ready for more support and access to higher quality and the wonderful blends that Young Living offers (Panaway, Stess Away, and more). I can honestly say that we use essential oils everyday! Valor helps me focus and clears up some mommy-brain, Peace and Calming helps our little ones and myself settle down and get to sleep, Thieves supports our immune system and smells like Christmas!, Stress Away when things get a little too crazy, Lemon and Orange for cleaning, Lavender diffused at night in my mascara, Purification for air freshening, we are experiencing the benefits of overall wellness. (And an added bonus, my house smells amazing even with 2 dogs and 2 little ones running around and we have the peace of mind knowing that we are using natural products!)

These oils have benefited our family in so many ways and I  want to share our experience so that it might impact your own family’s wellness as well.

Have a lot of questions?? I definitely did when we ventured into the idea of trying essential oils. Hopefully I can answer as many as I can for you. (and feel free to get ahold of me if you have more questions!)

Why Young Living?
Young Living is deeply committed to the purity and quality of their oils, from “Seed to Seal”. Their oils go through a strenuous testing and distilling process in order for them to be most effective and safe. Oils you can purchase at stores, while they may be cheaper, have no regulations, meaning they can be adulterated with chemicals and water to make them go further. Young Living Essential Oils are the only oil I trust enough to share with you.

This along with the opportunities and incentives to share their fabulous products had me head over heels for Young Living.

How Do I Use Essential Oils?

* Inhale – deep breaths from the bottle, put a few drops in your hands and cover your mouth and nose or by diffusing (my favorite! we have two diffusers in the house)

* Topically – apply directly to the skin/problem area or dilute with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond oil or even vegetable oil - or apply to the vitaflex points on the feet (great for kiddos) or hands - I love applying oils to my wrists, or to the therapy points on the ear (all outlined in the 480+ page Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils that you will receive in the mail after joining our team)

* Ingest – through drops placed in water or foods or by gelatin capsule

The uses are endless!

Why Choose the “Wholesale Option” When Signing Up?

You automatically receive a 24% discount when signing up, and you have the option of earning commissions when others join – but this part is COMPLETELY OPTIONAL. (However, if you’re like me the benefits will compel you to share with your family and friends! - I have to refrain from constantly wanting to say "there's an oil for that!" - definitely becoming a crazy oil lady ;) )

You automatically get the wholesale discount without any commitments to sell.

If you are interested in remaining an active distributor, you need to order a minimum of 50PV (point value – usually equal to dollars) a year.

Regardless, there are NO Minimum Orders. NO Monthly Fees. NO Obligations. NO Selling Requirements. (So nice!)

What Kit Would You Recommend for Starting Out?

The absolute best bang for your buck is the Premium Starter Kit. This is your Black-Friday type steal! This kit contains everything you need to start and experience these oils for an amazing value. The kit includes the 10 Everyday Oils, Stress Away Oil Roll-On, 10 purse-size Essential Oil Samples in foil to share with others!, two Ningxia Red Samples, references for getting started, and the Diffuser (which alone around $100). A $274 value for $150!

Where Can I Go to For Support and Questions?

I’m so excited to let you in on this part. When you sign up under me, I can add you to several private Facebook Groups. It’s an instant community to learn from filled with resources, and others who are learning about the amazing benefits of oils right along side of you! (So much better than WebMD) And you are welcome to contact me anytime with questions or support.

How Can I Share Young Living with Others and Reap the Benefits?

When you sign up, you will receive a member # to give to family and friends who are interested in joining, which earns commissions for you to use to purchase oils or to help your earn some extra cash!

Okay, I’m In. How Do I Sign Up?

1. Click here to begin the enrollment process. (It is so easy!)

2. Member is already selected so that you can automatically receive the 24% off. (Leave it on Member. No one wants to pay retail, it’s a no-brainer)

3. Double check to make sure my member #2151519 is in the Sponsor ID and Enroller ID spots.

4. Choose to enroll in the Essential Rewards program, or click “No Thank You”, try the oils out first and come back to this later.

5. Be sure to include your email so I can invite you to the private Facebook group.

6. Choose the kit you want to get started and add anything else to you may want to order.

7. Constantly refresh browser for a package tracking update while waiting for your box to arrive -haha! I know I did! Haha!

Jump in - I promise you won't look back! I cannot wait to hear how you much you love Young Living Oils!

* These statements are based on my own experience and resources. Not everyone may experience the same results, everyone's body is different and reacts differently just like with traditional medicines, etc but I hope you and your family have great results! The statements above are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, prevent disease and are not evaluated by the FDA. I do receive a commission on sales when you sign up, which is a little boost of motivation to share. However, the main reason I’m telling you about our family’s experience with essential oils is because of their positive impact on our family.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Note to Self: Cacoa Nibs

So I had heard good things about the superfood cacoa nibs. How good it is for you and how it beats chocolate cravings etc. So when I was perusing through the new-to-me and utterly awesome Indianapolis based Under the Sun (UTS) store and came across a bag for $2.00 as opposed to the typical $6-$15 price range I had been seeing online and at health stores, I figured I would pick up a bag.

So sitting in the slightly sketchy looking UTS parking lot I decided to pop the bag open and shove a handful in my mouth. Looks like chocolate pieces, kinda smells like chocolate pieces, and heck I haven't even had breakfast yet and it is nearing 10:00 am now so why not?

Gag, sputter, cough!

Yeah, not what I was expecting. They are like super, ultra, uber DARK chocolate pieces but with a kinda nutty taste - not something you shove in by the handful. Maybe like 4-5 pieces a time or something.

The bag says to add it to smoothies! baking mixes! etc...and I am looking up some sort of candiefied recipe now haha. But yea word of warning for you. :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

To Remember...

What every child wants to know is, “do your eyes light up when I walk in the room?” – Toni Morrison

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Our Summer Bucket List

Always seems like summer is over before I have a chance to blog about our bucket list. This year especially - felt like we waited for warm weather that never really came.

1. Creek stomping: did this at a local park where we celebration our 10th anniversary with dinner grilled out at the park just like we did on one of our first dates.

2. Grill out dinner at a park - Note to self, remember towels or napkins, bug spray, something for the baby to sit in and matches or a good lighter haha! Dinner was excellent though once we finally got it going. Also pick a table in the shade - and bring a table cloth.

3. Farmers market with the family - this still needs checked off!

4. Playdates at the park - thankful for Gina with the Franklin Playdate Group for getting this accomplished!

5. Busy Bag Swap

6. Potholes near Attica - been on our list for a while and finally made it!

7. Indiana State Fair or local fair

8. Using up tomatoes and garden produce - here's to BLTs, pizza toppings, and bruschetta!

9. Sleepover up north visiting family

10. Blueberry picking (check)! Note that toddlers really are not so much into blueberry picking....or strawberry picking - or anything involving excessive heat, bugs and not being able to eat the berries right away.

11. Strawberry picking

12. Community pool visits

13. Splash pad visits

14. Sprinkler or slip n slide backyard fun

15. watertable fun on the deck

16. Planting pots of annuals for the patio

17. Movie in the Park

18. Zoo trip



Now on to our fall bucket list!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Free activities for Tots (and more) at Your Local Library

One of the things that I have taken advantage of more now with finding myself laid-off in the last month or two has been all the great free activities at our local libraries! From tot pasta art to preschool reading programs there is so much to do! Next month we plan on learning about how to make rootbeer, bike safety including free helmets, learning about bats and more!

Check out what your local library system is up to - their calendar of events may surprise you!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Top 10 FREE Family Fun Things to Do at the Indiana State Fair

Indoor Playground where we lost the balloon

My husband and I have made the Indiana State Fair a family tradition. Each year visiting as many of the exhibits and family areas that we can cram into an afternoon before exhaustion kicks in. So much to do and learn, even for adults! Little tidbit I learned this year was that Indiana is #4 in production for mint - who knew?!

For the kiddos there are definitely more than just rides - in fact we try to avoid that wallet-sucking area as much as we can - that and the food area -- heck, bring a picnic!- with kiddos you are already carting around so much anyways - why not pack a little cooler with hard boiled eggs or sandwiches and chips, etc. And our oldest (almost 4) doesn't even like cotton candy - so no fights for that haha!

So (in no particular order) here's our list of free to-do's each year:

1. DNR Building: The butterfly habitat right outside is a huge hit with our daughter and the lovely cold knee level fountain is mommy's favorite spot to rest and cool her feet off. The building itself is a cooling retreat from the harsh sun and a fun walk through of Indiana aquatic life.

2. Little Hands on the Farm: Featuring a free fun little farm walk through where the children all don aprons and  complete farm activities including "egg" and "apple" collecting and you even get to ride/drive a tractor - and wrap up with a visit at the "store" to trade in your "money" for a drink or snack I think...this is a good 20 minute activity so for those waiting with the stroller and sleeping baby outside the activity - hang tight. :)

3. FFA Pavillion: The free putt putt course and shredded-tire playground is a great spot to rest from all the walking. Lots of the buildings also feature a little area where kiddos can color with free printables - we are right at that age where that is a huge hit - take advantage of it if you need to!

Peeping cute chicks/ pullets

Friendly ducklings in the Poultry and Rabbit Barn
Cattle Barn
4. Barn Walk-Throughs: There is the obligatory and entertaining brief jaunt through the cattle or swine barn (or both) complete with "ughs!" and nose-holding as you watch the cows getting prepped and ready for showing - or watching them rest etc :). But our favorite is the Poultry and Rabbit Building where posts signs everywhere say not stick fingers in the cages - but that little bunny tush pressed up against the mesh of the crate is too much to bear. And where fuzzy chicks and ducklings peep and walk up to the sides of their cages to greet enthusiastic young onlookers. Encubators with hatching eggs are popular spots too and who doesn't love the onslaught of rooster crows :) and hilarious looking chickens.

5. Farm Bureau Building: The nice thing about this spot is the bathrooms, A/C and of course the free popcorn!

Dupont Food Pavillion

6. DuPont Food Pavillion: One of our favorites! Always a demo going on about recipes (Red Gold, etc) and usually includes a little taste for the audience. Food samples around the building from salsa to honey...and you can watch the cheese sculpture being form and the littles can play in the little interactive area.

Planting sunflower seeds at Seed Survivor in the Ag/Hort Building

Gourd activity in the Ag/Hort Building
7. Ag/Hort Building: More look-see and respite from the heat. My favorite is the Can creations of all things - where they compete with grand displays made from food cans - this year's favorite was a huge construct of Olaf from Frozen. This area has a great honey bee area, and walk throughs of award winning things like wreaths and produce, etc. This year we happened upon a free gourd decorating area for kiddos and the Seed Survivor activity where you can color sheets, and plant and take home a sunflower seed and more! We also sat in on a demo from this year's Honey-Bee queen and got to sample her recipe for honey-orange smoothies - very yum!

Olaf "Can"struction

8. Angie's List Garden: full of great free activities and crafts and also a free balloon!....which we promptly lost :( ....and much screaming ensued. Tie that puppy to a hairtie on your wrist next time - oy!

9. Pathway to Water Quality: Great little outdoor walkthrough along a path of shade trees and you can fill your thermos with great cold well water!

Lactation Tent near the Little Hands on the Farm and Pathway to Quality

10. Lactation Stations: This for us has been such a great relief. Two different stations at each end of the fair made for moms to step in and nurse or change diapers and grab a cool water and refresh on sunscreen and if you forgot yours they have some as well as some diapers and wipes if you find yourself in a bind. The volunteers for these booths are great - so much so that they inspired me to sign up for a shift this year - loved being able to give back to a cause that made me feel welcome. Of course you can nurse wherever you need to at the fair - but these little areas are a nice place to meet up with other mom's or, like in the RV, get a way from all the distractions so the baby can focus on eating.

RV Lactation Station - air condition and more private if needed for the distract-ababy

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blogger Family Distelrath Farm Tour

Had the pleasure of joining fellow bloggers an a great tour of the awesome Distelrath Farm - located nearer to downtown Indy than you think! Just east on Raymond St.

The tour walked us along a mulched path past a fenced in chickens, a rabbit hutch, muddy pigs, goats and sheep and back to the chickens. The kiddos were given bags of old bread and were allowed to toss hunks of bread to the happily awaiting animals. Even got to hunt for eggs in the chicken coops! Delaney found one!

We cannot wait to go back and visit on a Saturday morning (open to the general public at that time) and to learn more about joining this great farm co-op.

Links to learn more:

Distelrath Farm
Follow them on Twitter:
Find Them on: Facebook

Friday, July 25, 2014

Distelrath Farm Tour - Coming Up

Very excited to take part in the upcoming Blogger Family Farm Tour at Distelrath Farm. We drove past this new-to-us location on our way to our fairly ill-fated strawberry picking family adventure earlier this year (too hot outside for my wee babes that day) and have been wanting to go ever since! I creaned my neck in the passenger seat to see more as we drove past - I did see some lovely chickens and have been seeing write-ups about the location. Cannot wait to fill you all in on this gem!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Greenwood

I am so incredibly excited about Fresh Thyme Farmers Market coming to Greenwood! We are in an area pretty devoid of much in the way of natural food stores - and if you can find them - they are fairly small and not vary diverse what they carry. I cannot find what I need from one store - I end up having to go to different ones each week for what I need.

Was lucky enough to be on invited to the Friends and Family Night this week for Fresh Thyme to get a little beforehand sneak peek at what this store has to offer.

And woah.

You guys are going to love this place!

Really good prices - talking like 77 cent strawberries! Kinda unheard of for a health food store. So much produce, so much deli items, so many bulk pantry can pour your own honey, olive oil and more! So happy!

And for all the dairy free and gluten free peeps - this store has your back! From pizza, to ice cream and more - happy dairy free day!! I wanted to skip joyously down the aisles! Ha! This stuff is hard to find on our side of town unless you count the tiny natural foods section in Kroger.

Essential oils, bath and beauty products, cereals, it is pretty cool.

Check it out!



At Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets we believe you shouldn’t have to give away the farm to feed your body nutritious food. We’re on a mission to improve the way our communities eat by offering fresh and healthy food at amazing values -all in a vibrant and fun shopping environment, with smiling friendly faces.

The foundation of healthy eating is often based on incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables in our diets. Therefore, at the core of our offerings is an abundant produce department, overflowing with fruits and vegetables, fresh from the farm, often locally grown and much of it organic. We’re so passionate about produce that we’ve made it the nucleus of the store, ensuring the bounty of fruits and vegetables is visible from all other departments.

Here is more on the Grand Opening:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer's here!

So glad to be done with winter - but my do we have some catching up to do! Time flies with two! :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Diving Into Dairy Free

So we have decided to go dairy free for our little miss Ainsley. Bouts of fussiness and arching her back through all hours of the night even on reflux medication (same as we had done for Delaney 3 years ago) lead us back to the pediatrician and also a chiropractor for insight and answers and also to rule out any ear infection, etc. Everything ruled out - so the elephant left standing is dairy in my diet. (and possibly soy- but we are going to talk about that right now - because if you take out dairy there is almost nothing left it feels - and so to also remove soy - omg let's just not go there right now). Tofutti sour cream and cream cheese are my saving graces right now - take those out and then what?? Yikes. Ok..on to the dairy free stuff.

When you first think about going dairy free it is pretty crippling. All you goes through your mind is what you cannot have. But there is light at the end of tunnel for all you fellow dairy-free people out there! I know you have that deer in the headlights look as you grip your bottle of powdered probiotics and stare at your pantry and fridge...because it is ALL DAIRY...but rest easy. There are options, choices, and you WILL feel better - and obviously baby will too.

We started this journey about a month ago and it has made a big difference for me even. I cheated and had a cupcake with dairy cream cheese and was in so much pain myself afterwards. Oy.

So here are your first steps if you are going dairy free that I found helped me.

1. Stock up on the staples: Kroger has an awesome natural food section that features a lot of what you need to go dairy free. The idea of trying to fit in an extra trip to the healthfoods store was daunting to think about when toting around two children during our limited weekend time - but really I have been able to find almost everything I need at Kroger. Yay, Kroger! :) Meijer has limited items and I haven't foraged Walmart for dairy-free so I cannot report on the scene there if there is one...but save your sanity and go to Kroger.

Buy dairy free staples that will help you daily in cooking, baking. Almost any recipe can be modified to be dairy free - this is freeing to think! Creamy casseroles, cookies, etc....modify, modify, modify.

Here is your staple list:

  • Dairy Free Butter
  • Dairy Free Cream Cheese
  • Dairy Free Sour Cream
  • Alternative Milks (coconut, almond, or rice)
  • Alternative Cheeses (mozzarella, cheddar, etc)

I found it helpful to go ahead and buy half gallon cartons of several different alternative yes, there is an entire shelf in my fridge dedicated to milk.

I have found that almond milk has much more subtle taste than soy milks or coconut milk - making it great at modifying recipes that call for cows milk. I haven't tried rice milk yet - but may here in the future just to see how it compares to almond milk.

On the dairy-free cheese - do not hold much hope on these folks. Unlike the easy substitutions from dairy to non on the milks, sour cream, etc....cheese is in a league of it's own and I haven't tried enough of the alternatives out there to say what works best. I have tried what I read was the best Just not cheese. Helps ease the transition, but so obviously not cheese. Especially cheddar. Just a word of warning on that.

In my fridge:

  • Almond Milk Original - is slightly sweetened. Works as a great substitute in baked goods, cereal milk, french toast, and frostings.
  • Almond Milk Unsweetened - for things like mashed potatoes, cooking dishes like casseroles etc where you wouldn't want a sweetened taste at all.
  • Almond Milk Chocolate - helps with those chocolate milk cravings! And yum!!
  • Coconut Milk - Coconut milk is a fattier milk than almond milk and works in recipes calling for whole milk. I have used mine to make an uh-mazing dairy-free ranch dressing.
  • Tofutti Cream Cheese - great for subbing in recipes that call for cream-cheese including frostings.
  • Tofutti Sour Cream - goes great on tacos, and any recipe calling for sour cream.
  • Daiya Cheeses - Cheddar and Mozarella
My dairy-free sanity savers:
  • Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Homemade Dairy-free ranch dressing - mix up a jar to keep in the fridge - you will be glad you did
  • Hummus (do yourself a favor and add a clove of minced garlic and some olive oil, stir, and warm it up - yum) - sooo good and filling with warmed, soft pita bread cut into triangles.
  • Bacon
  • French bread loaves 
  • Burger King French Fries
In the event that  I decide it might be worth it to try going soy-free:
  • homemade soy-free "soy" sauce
  • subbing  greek yogurt (something about the yogurt cultures eating the lactose making it ok for dairy free - haven't tried so not sure) for the tofutti sour cream
  • kraft lactose free cheese ?? (statement found on Clarks Condensed: *Most brands of Kraft Natural Cheese have had the lactose removed, along with the whey, resulting in 0 grams of lactose, including the 100% Grated Parmesan that is used in this recipe. However, some remnants of lactose could remain, just not at a reportable level. From most that I’ve talked to that are lactose intolerant, Kraft Cheese does not bother them, but if you have an extreme intolerance, be cautious.")

Helpful Links:

Milk Conversions for Recipes (borrowed from: Cooking with Curls)
  • Heavy Cream = Coconut Milk (can)
  • Whole Milk = Coconut Milk (box) or Soy Milk
  • Non Fat Milk = Almond or Rice Milk
  • Half & Half = Half Coconut Milk (can) & Half Coconut Milk (box)

Thursday, February 13, 2014


"Oh no! My hands are cracked!"

(She is just now noticing and referring to the lines on her palms and also that her skin is so dry from this brutal winter. She originally wanted a bandaid or "bandage" as she refers to them as for the cracks. Ha!)


"Delaney, who is your new friend at daycare?"


"Angry? Is she mad? Or is that her name?"

"That is her name."


(Turns out her name is Avery and, small world that it is, she is the child of someone we went to high school with!)


Also "Octopus" can be easily confused with "Apple Purse" :) 

Daddy and Delaney were having craft time and he asked her what she wanted him to make her out of the craft paper. And she said an Apple Purse - so that is what he made...and she told him no and took it from him and cut the bottom all up (for legs) :) 

It wasn't until a few days later when he was retelling me the story that we put it together. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

(Indianapolis) To Do with Toddlers: Veal's Ice Tree

This has been one of those soul sucking winters that just makes you want to pack up and move to the equator. I mean S.E.R.I.O.U.S.L.Y. Now add in an on-the-go toddler and an infant and you practically spell out stir crazy.

We packed everyone up this past weekend and spent a day at the mall (ugh), the three-year-old burnt some energy with Dad at the indoor playground (yes, germ-city - we know...)and Mom took the baby around to cross off some returns from our list of to-do's.

Afterwards we revved up the GPS and headed towards I-74 in search of the fabled ice tree. I have heard about it off and on for the last several years but never made it out that way. It really is a must-see! In person this ice sculpture is just magnificent and jaw dropping - makes you stand there in the family's backyard in utter awe and silence. Definitely will be a seasonal family tradition from now on! In fact Delaney asked to see it again this morning -- a full two days later! Next time we will remember to bundle the baby - so THAT's why those pink baby snow-suit things exist - aha!

Pick up a brochure while you are there and read more about the tree and it's history - fun little back story.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Leftover Magic and Improvised Refridgerator Cooking

There is something exciting about taking ho hum leftovers and creating something fantastic out of it. I also see the random left overs in the fridge as a bit of a challenge. Sour cream, whipping cream, half a box of vegetable stock....bring it.

We had went out Saturday night on a rare double date night with some new friends and came home with half of a chicken. I told him to order pasta but he swears he didn't hear me - but either way we came home with an entire half a chicken that he didn't touch much of. I do admit it didn't look good - neither of us enjoy picking meat off bones.

Sunday night rolled around and I was still looking for ways to use up the half a box of vegetable stock that has been in our fridge from a pasta sauce recipe we tried. Perusing through my evernote recipes for inspiration - it hit!

Half a left over chicken fully seasoned and cooked from the restaurant + vegetable stock + sour cream + 1/4 bag of tortilla chip crumbles = Enchilada Soup!

It is a recipe I have saved in my evernote account for awhile now that has sounded so good! Though at first, as it was cooking up I was skeptical - wasn't hitting me as great as far as smell or taste with just the chicken, store-bought veg stock and tomatoes. Not to mention that I forgot to grab heavy cream from the store - boo! Nothing else to do but improvise! Took advantage of the "cream of something soup mix" I had made up quite a while ago in the pantry - put in 2-3 tablespoons. And a few tablespoons of flour, a few tablespoons of butter - lots of salt and pepper.

But what really made this meal come to together are the add-ins. They take the soup from mediocre to sheer inhalatino-mode.

Here is what we added and suggest making mandatory if you plan on trying this recipe at all - of course they cannot be added on until last minute right before serving.

- crumbled tortilla chips (enough to make up for the thickness of the soup depending on how much chicken you put in etc - I never got the base to actually become creamy as the recipe states - of couse I didn't have heavy cream so this could why - no I take that back - it is definitely why - but I didn't want to NOT make it or run to the store again - so two handfuls of crumbled chips it is! 
- cheddar cheese
- monterrey jack cheese
- sour cream dollop
- green onion
- and inhale :)

Friday, January 31, 2014

More Easter Goodness

Just a little internet (Zuily) window shopping - carry on, carry on! :)

Think long, dark curls and a 3 year old + this purple dress

And this macaroon lip gloss - because, hello!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Easter Basket Ideas 2014

Love learning gifts for our little ones and who doesn't love a good deal?! - this week Zuily has both!

It's an "applepurse!" as my husband would say. (It's what he thought our little one was saying when she was tyring to say "octopus") 

P.S. I MUST find way to make these - too adorable!

More hair clip adorableness:

Ballet Slippers Clip (PERFECT for our ballerini-obsessed 3 year old!)

Also a little family inside joke here - and would totally replace the two beloved "sharkies" that managed to make it back to Indiana from our North Carolina vacation but have since met their demise through various tragedies that are inevitable to befall a flimsy plastic stick toy. :(

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Maubs is 3-year old speak for boobs. lol.

As in, "You maubs leaking, mom? Are they leaking?" Seeing my soaked shirt (hello nursing oversupply and overactive letdown) or watching as I scramble to locate where I put my nursing pads.

Ah the fun of having a 2 month old and a 3 yr old. :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


So a little behind is an understatement.

Our household as grown! Not only was baby #2 born (10 days late!) in a whirlwind of a labor and delivery (only 4 hours total! - holy wow!) but we also took in and bottle fed a kitten.


So we are now at two kids, two dogs and two cats! Oy vey!

Hoping to jump on here more often - ya right - TWO kids remember?? No, but really I miss it and need to get back to it! :)

Anyone faithful enough to stick around and still be reading??