meal prep for a full work week

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Meal prep may seem like a lot of work up front (okay, it sure can be!), but the reward of a simpler week is so worth the effort.  Today, I am sharing the foods I prep for my husband to take to work each day.

meal prepI sure love my husband.  He works so incredibly hard for our family, which I am so thankful for.  I have the opportunity to do what I love – teach fitness classes and be home with the kids.  Best job ever.  Since I am not away from home all day, the meals the kids and I eat are made quickly at home as needed.

I am happy to make all the food for my husband so he has healthy meals and snacks to keep him fueled all day, and to save money so that he’s not eating out every day.  Win-win!

Here is the basic outline of what I pack him: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, smoothie and a bar.  He lifts weight Monday-Friday and is working on putting on muscle, which means he needs continuous fuel to keep him energized and ready for his tough workouts.

Let’s break it all down even further with the options I rotate through.  Eating the same thing week in and week out would get so boring, and nobody wants to get food boredom!

Meal Selection

Breakfast

Breakfast does not vary much at all and months and months later he still loves it.  I roast diced yukon gold potatoes, then mix it with roasted aidelle’s pineapple and bacon sausage (sometimes aidelle’s apple and chicken sausage) and garlicky kale chips.

Morning snack

This week I prepped hard boiled eggs and grapes.  Most often I will mix canned tuna with homemade avocado mayo, diced celery, chopped green onion, old bay seasoning, sea salt and pepper and then pair that with either rice crackers or fruit.  Another option are nitrate-free ham rolls + a banana.  I always include a good protein source with a carbohydrate, and that carbohydrates typically end up being a fruit.

Lunch

For lunch this week I packed roasted wild caught salmon, steamed broccoli, jasmine rice and teriyaki sauce.  Rice is standard for lunches.  Often he will end up having this meal post workout.  Here are 2 other options I like to pack:

1) shredded pork carnita, jasmine rice, cabbage slaw and pico de gallo
2) roasted chicken breast (marinated in a fish sauce/soy sauce mixture), steamed broccoli and jasmine rice with teriyaki sauce

Smoothie

A simple way to get more calories in + a great serving a fruit and protein.  I add vital proteins collagen peptides and natural force grass-fed organic whey protein into his smoothies.  We tried a different whey protein for a while and it did not settle well in either of our stomachs, but this one doesn’t have negative effect – thankfully!

In the blender (I have this ninja blender) I add 1 can of full fat coconut milk + 1.5 cans of water + tons of frozen mango (about 2-3 cups) + 2 -3 bananas + the juice of an orange + vanilla extract + 3 scoops collagen peptides + 3 scoops whey protein powder, then blend away!  That makes smoothies for 5 days.

Bar

We love rx bars and larabars.  Sometimes I will make snack balls like this cocoa peanut date ball recipe too!

Meal prep in action

When I begin my food prep, I first get my proteins and potatoes cooking in the oven.  I’ll have the oven pre-heated to 400 degrees F and bake up the lunch protein + start the breakfast potatoes in the oven.  As those items are cooking, I will get the rice cooker started, steam the broccoli for lunch and hard boil eggs (or prep tuna).  When the potatoes are almost done, I add the diced sausage into the same pan to finish for the last 10 minutes.  Garlicky kale chips are added into the oven when I can lower the temp to 325 F.

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I make smoothies as food is cooking, and get fruit into jars.  If I am uninterrupted (can do it all while the kids are napping/resting) this makes about 2 hours.  Some Sunday’s I may begin portions as I am doing other cooking throughout the morning/lunchtime and meal prep may take all day, however, I’m not tied to the kitchen the entire time.  I just make it work and always get it done!

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Packing the food

Lastly, when everything is done cooking (and cooled a bit), I load all the food into mason jars.  Lunch goes into a large quart sized mason jar, breakfast into a pint sized mason jar, the morning snack is split into 2 half pint sized mason jars, and smoothies are put into pint sized mason jars.  The bar is packed into his lunch bag, and if I made snack balls those would go into disposable sandwich baggies.

Each night before I go to bed I grab the jars I need from the fridge and pack them in his cooler bag so he can easily grab the bag from the fridge + a frozen ice block from the freezer and his food stays cool all day.

And that is how I’ve been doing meal prep for my hubby’s work meals for almost a year now!  It’s become part of my Sunday routine and now just what I do.  And I’m quite happy to do it for my love.  If I worked full time away from the home I would totally do the same for myself, it really makes life easier as the week goes on.

Any meal prep questions I am happy to answer!

Do you meal prep for work meals?  What are some go-to meals you like to prep ahead of time?  We always love new ideas to add into the rotation.

Heather

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garlicky kale chips

garlicky kale chips

Garlicky kale chips are simple to make in the oven, give you that great crunch factor and are packed with amazing flavor.  Such a fun and tasty way to get more kale onto your plate!

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Garlicky Kale Chips

We easily eat garlicky kale chips 2-3 times a week.  The chance that I’ve made these kale chips for friends is very, very likely.  I like to share the goodness with all!

Lately my moms garden has been booming with kale (fantastic since mine failed… waa waa waaaaah ), so we’ve been reaping the benefits of her labor with even more kale in the house.  No problem with that here.

garlicky kale chips

Kale Wins

Kale is 100% my favorite dark leafy green.  I love it raw, I love it cook, I love it crunchy and munchy.  Kale is packed with vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, fiber, while also being a good source of calcium, potassium and iron along with many more vitamins and minerals (source).  It’s a nutrition POWERHOUSE.

garlicky kale chips

The best reason to eat these garlicky kale chips?  They’re freaking delicious.  Try them for yourself and see!

garlicky kale chips

Garlicky Kale Chips

Recipe can easily be doubled (and baked on 2 sheets) or halved for a smaller amount

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, leaves removed from the stems and ripped into pieces
  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spread kale pieces onto a large, rimmed baking sheet (mine goes up about 2 inches on the side to fit more kale).  Pour avocado oil over the kale and massage into each kale piece.  Sprinkle sea salt, garlic granules and pepper over the kale and toss to coat each piece.
  2. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir kale chips.  Continue baking another 10 minutes, then stir again.  Keep baking and checking the kale chips every 5 minutes and stirring until the kale is no longer wet and all the pieces are crispy and beginning to get golden brown.  If your pan is really full, this process may take longer, but generally anticipate 30-40 minutes of baking time.

Where are you on the kale scale?  Can’t get enough, or just need to find the right recipe?? 😉

Happy munching!

Heather

10 healthy snacks for on the go

10 easy snacks for on the go

Snacking is serious business in our house.  With a 5 year old, 3.5 year old and 1.5 year old, it seems someone is always eating, talking about food, or getting to that point of too hungry.  Hangry kids are no fun!  For those reasons, and because I also don’t want to become a hangry mom myself, I always make sure we are prepared with some kind of snack when we are away from home.  Errands with 3 kids in tow always take longer than expected, so we usually roll back home later for lunch than I plan.  That’s when our healthy snacks come in handy!

Maybe you are in the same situation, or maybe you’re just looking for some fresh snack ideas to help you push past that afternoon slump at work.  Whatever you need them for, I hope these 10 healthy snacks for on the go help you out as much as they help us!

Build a balanced snack

I think of snacks as mini-meals.  For all my meals I emphasize balancing carbohydrates, protein and fat.  The 3 macro nutrients together keep me feeling great and balanced.  I handle my snacks, and the snacks for my kids, the same way.  I try and get all 3 macro nutrients into each snack, but sometimes I may only hit 2.  For example, a carbohydrate source and fat source, a protein source and a fat source, or a carbohydrate source and a protein source.  Fat and protein both help to keep you satiated longer, which I why I try and not just have a carbohydrate source if I want some staying power.

10 easy snacks to take on the go

10 healthy snacks for on the go

  1. apple slices with natural peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter)
  2. hard boiled egg and baby carrots
  3. uncured salami and cucumber slices
  4. larabar + orange slices
  5. banana and walnuts
  6. raisins and almonds
  7. RX bar + blueberries
  8. hummus and snap peas
  9. dried apples (no added sugar), pecans and coconut chips (no sugar added)
  10. grapes and nitrate free turkey slice rolls

Bonus prep-ahead snack: try these cocoa peanut date balls!

If I’m packing a snack that will be sitting in the car, I simply throw an ice pack in the bag with a snack to keep it cool.  I never stress too much about things staying ice cold.  I hope these favorite snacks of ours can inspire your own healthy snacking adventures!

What is your favorite healthy snack to take on the go?

Heather

old bay potato wedges

OLD BAY

We recently returned from an amazing vacation to the Oregon coast.  We absolutey love Newport, which is where we stayed.  While there, we discovered a few gems – tide pools and a marine science center with so many amazing spaces for the kids to explore and interact with!

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We stayed in a house, cooked and ate almost all the meals there.  We ate simple meals with fresh and delicous flavors: salmon tacos, BBQ’d burgers, chicken brautwurst with corn on the cob and salad and also chicken drumsticks + these old bay potato wedges.  They remind me of jo jos, but are so much better for you!

Old bay potato wedges — the healthier jo jo alternative!

OLD BAY potato wedges

Jo jos are fried, yes?  These old bay potato wedges are crispy and flavorful but baked in the oven.  Bonus – they take just a few simple ingredients you probably already have on hand to make!  The key to get the correct shape with your wedges is in how you cut them.  Each potato has 5 cuts to give you 6 wedges.  Here’s my trick for the perfect old bay potato wedge cut.

Cut your potato length wise in half.  Take one half and lay it flat side down on your cutting board.  Cut about 1/3 of the way in from the outside, angling toward the center.  So as you cut, you are cutting on a bias.  Do another cut about 1/3 of the way from the other side, angling toward the center again.  Repeat those 2 cuts with the other half.  You get perfect angled cuts with your potatoes!

old bay potato wedges + salad

We love these old bay potato wedges served alongside a salad, or when we make drumsticks.  They go great dipped in some homemade ranch, or homemade bleu cheese I make for my buffalo sauce loving husband.  They’d be great alongside an omelet in morning as well.  You just can’t go wrong with healthy jo jos!

old bay potato wedges

Old Bay Potato Wedges

This recipe can easily be doubled or halved.  Plan for around 1-2 potatoes (depending on the size) per person.  Make extra, because it does not last long!

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes, dirt rinsed off
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut your potatoes into 6 wedges each following these steps.  Cut your potato length wise in half.  Take one half and lay it flat side down on your cutting board.  Cut about 1/3 of the way in from the outside, angling toward the center.  So as you cut, you are cutting on a bias.  Do another cut about 1/3 of the way from the other side, angling toward the center again.  Repeat those 2 cuts with the other half.
  3. Toss the potatoes in a bowl with the avocado oil, old bay seasoning, sea salt and pepper.
  4. Spread the potatoes evening on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping the potatoes half way through.  You want them to have a golden brown color, while easily piercing with a fork.

And now I’m dreaming of making old bay SWEET potato wedges.  Time to fire up that oven!

Are you familiar with old bay seasoning?  I’ve heard so many people only use it for seafood, but it’s flavors work so well here as well!

Heather

design your summer + 6 month focus word update

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Today I am going to share how you can design your summer along with an update on my focus word of the year.  Summer is literally around the corner, and I just cannot wait.  Washington living means rain, which brings amazing beauty, but sometimes it limits when we explore outside.  Summer means we can spend so much more time outside, which is pretty much our favorite!

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Focus word for the year update: less

Before I get into designing your summer, I wanted to share an update on my focus word for the year less.  How is it going in one word? GREAT!  The two biggest areas in which I notice the change are that I am rushing around less and having less stuff around the house (donating and selling things we don’t need).  I am adamant about saying no to extra teaching opportunities.  I know the kids and I both like, and need some downtime throughout the week.

We’ve said no to more gatherings when we already have one or two things on the schedule for the weekend.  That is really hard sometimes, because we just love seeing friends and family.  Sometimes it’s okay to say no to the fun gathering or event. When we say no more often, we can really just focus on that quality time together with people instead of cramming in quantity.  I know that rushing and cramming just overwhelms Jacob, myself and the kids.

I am also blogging WAY less!  This makes me sad, but I know it’s just a season (or year?).  Again, cramming so many things in to one day can be overwhelming, especially when it might take my attention away from the kiddos.  I’m so happy I found this slice of time this morning to hop on my computer (I had a canceled class so it worked out perfectly).

I cannot tell you the number of times I’m doing dishes or driving and my mind comes up with my best ideas of things to write about.  I can have an entire blog post ready to go in my head, and my fingers never meet the keyboard.  I even have some recipes written down and pictures taken, but I don’t make it to the computer for quite some time.  Thankfully, I know, when a moment opens up (like today, yay!), I can share what has been waiting on my mind.

Did you choose a focus word for the year?  It’s never too late to join!

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Design your summer

The idea to design your summer – make it look how you want it to look – feel how you want it to feel really intrigues me.  Like I stated in the beginning, summer is just my favorite!  I also want it to feel really special to my kiddos.  None of them are in school yet, so for them it’s not a big break from school.  However, I love creating memories and if I can do this in a certain season, make it really stand out, I sure as heck want to.

I began writing a list of all the things I wanted to do over the summer – a summer “bucket list” if you will.  I kept adding and adding to the list and right now have about 41 items on it.

Then I got to thinking, less – less – less.  Instead of cramming my time with so many “things” to check off the summer list, I need to focus on the few specific activities I really want to do, then create a feel for the summer.  A summer vibe.

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So instead of 41 activities to busy up my time, here are 5 that I really want to do, that we don’t do or have not yet done before.

  1. hike moulton falls
  2. make ice cream in a can
  3. pick up crepes for a park picnic
  4. watch a baseball game in town with the kids
  5. visit cedar creek grist mill and learn how flour is made

It was really hard to narrow my list down, but so many other things I know we’ll do anyways (like a trip to the zoo, pool party, berry picking, frog catching).  If they’ll naturally happen anyways, why write them on my list and add pressure>

The summer vibe I’m looking for: relaxed outside time to explore and learn, filled with good friends and good food.

Summer — we just can’t wait for you!

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Do you design your summer?  What are some must do summer activities you have, or the summer vibe you are going for?

Heather

whole30 wrap up + a day of whole30 eats

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Our whole30 came to an end a while back.  Time for a recap!  In actuality, I’m calling it a whole3weeks, but I’ll get into that in just a few moments.  I wanted to start off by sharing what a day of whole30 eating looked like for me, so I snapped pictures to not forget.  Let’s get into it!

Want to read more about what the whole30 is and our reasons behind starting it?  Read my intro to whole30 post.

A day of Whole30 eats

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I started my morning with coffee + nutpods unsweetened original creamer, x2.  It’s dark when I rise, so lighting wasn’t the best.  I’m sure you can imagine some yummy, creamy coffee here. :)

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Breakfast: leftover seared salmon, 2 fried eggs over roasted sweet potatoes and blackberries

I could eat this forever and ever. (And ever and ever.)

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Post-workout snack: adelle’s apple chicken sausage and roasted sweet potatoes

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Lunch: leftover tandoori chicken over parsnip/cauliflower puree, avocado, hot sauce, chipotle kraut, grapes and cucumbers

Basically the most random mix of leftovers from the fridge.

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Snack: bacon and kumquats, along with a la croix

The kids picked kumquats out at the store and they definitely need to… grow on me. 😬

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Dinner: shredded bbq chicken salad with bacon, tomatoes, bell peppers, avocado + potato wedges and dairy-free ranch for dipping

Again, could eat every.single.day!

Most days I found I wouldn’t fuel well enough at lunch time.  It is a bit more rushed as I’m trying to feed the kids after we get back home, clean them up and get ready for naps.  When my afternoon snack doesn’t satisfy, I know my last meal wasn’t substantial enough.

Whole30 wrap up

We cut the whole30 (whole3weeks) short for 2 reasons – I wanted to have some extra time to go through the reintroduction phase before our weekend away where we would not have as much control over what we ate, and Jacob was ready to be done.

Was it a success?  Yes!  Jacob changed his taste buds and got away from processed foods, and allowed his taste buds to enjoy real, unprocessed foods a lot more.  He noticed that too much dairy doesn’t make him feel great, and sugar makes him feel less than great too.  However, he didn’t feel like he got enough fuel for his workouts and gain goals in the gym.  He felt like he was losing weight and muscle and that was not a goal of his.

I though the whole30 met my goals as well!  My bloating was gone, I was majorly inspired by so many new recipes and flavors and my energy was great too.  I definitely leaned out, which really wasn’t a goal of mine, but hey, seeing a 6 pack after having 3 kids was pretty fun!

I only got to slowly reintroduce oatmeal and rice back in the week before our weekend away.  I did fine with the rice, but was sad that oatmeal gave me some stomach pains!  I just love oatmeal so I’ve way slowed down on my consumption of it compared to normal.  Dairy hasn’t made me feel great so I’m watching my consumption and taking notes when I do eat it.

It was interesting to note, on our weekend away we enjoyed a flight of beers and pizza at a new to us brewery.  Something we’ve done many times before, but coming off of a whole30 into that amount of food and drinks left our stomach so full and uncomfortable, even into the next day!  Our systems were just no longer used to pizza and beer in larger amounts, which is probably a good thing!

All in all, the whole30 was a success.  It educated us a bit more on what foods make us feel good, and which leave us feeling crummy, but there were times when we definitely felt restricted.  I’m planning to continue watching how dairy and oats make me feel, and just see what I can tolerate.

And every since the whole30 I’ve had crockpot pork carnitas on a weekly repeat, which is without a doubt the biggest win!  So good.

You’ve got to try the recipe you guys!  –> crockpot pork carnitas <–  Thank me later 😉

Tell me, what successes have you had with food challenges (whole30 or not)?   Do you have a recipe you just can’t stop making?  Share!

Heather

30+ starchy vegetable side dish recipes + my whole30 intro

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This week the hubs and I embarked on the Whole30 challenge.  The Whole30 is a 30 day program where you focus on eating real foods, while eliminating potentially problematic foods to see how your body does without them.  You focus on eating meats, vegetables, fruits and fats, while excluding dairy, gluten, all grains, soy, legumes, sugar and alcohol.  Pretty much paleo but amp up to a whole ‘nother level!

Why take on the Whole30 challenge?

My husband Jacob had the initial desire to do it.  He felt he needed some help with his food choices — something to really shock his system that would help him work on enjoying real foods (vegetables mainly) a lot more.  I love being creative in the kitchen and can always figure out something to eat with what we have in the house, but I know for him he would simply resort to some kind of dairy or snacky food instead of thinking about balancing his food choices and making the best choices for his body and energy levels.

And why did I decide to take on the whole30 challenge? Well I’m just such a great wife (HA!) and I said I’d do it to support him!  I wasn’t looking forward to not having half and half in my coffee, but since I found nutpods I’ve been so content!  Perfectly creamy and unsweetened just like I like my coffee.

nutpods - non dairy half and half

Today we are 4 days in and I’m feeling pretty dang good.  Maybe a little tired, but that could also have to do with needing a bit more sleep (Nova just turned one and still isn’t sleeping through the night……).  I did a very thorough meal plan (using the Whole30 book – the foods have been delish!) over the weekend, grocery shopped and then spent time on Saturday and Sunday prepping sauces, veggies, meats and breakfast to-go for Jacob to simplify the week.

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The importance of carbohydrates

Going into the Whole30 I knew I wanted to be careful that it didn’t turn into a low-carb diet.  Since I’m still nursing and teaching 6-7 group fitness classes a week, I wanted to ensure that I felt energized enough for the workouts, my milk supply didn’t diminish and that I didn’t lose weight, since that’s not a goal of mine.  I’m looking forward to see if the bloating I occasionally notice decreases, and if my energy skyrockets.

Vegetables and fruits are where we are finding our carbohydrates from: mainly potatoes (white, gold, red, sweet, yams), root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets), squashes (butternut, acorn, delicata) plantains and bananas.  I feel like potatoes every night can get pretty boring pretty quickly, so I’ve been really creative with my list and figured if I’m planning it out for us, I may as well share the list with you all!  These starchy sides aren’t just for the Whole30 – they’re wonderful for everyone and are definitely foods I include in my normal real food diet.

Want to read more about what I typically eat?  Check out this post: no diets, just eat real food

Starchy vegetable side dish recipes

I hope you find a recipe or two to include in your meal rotation.  I’ve broken them into 5 categories, so if you’re really looking for a potato dish or something with carrots, just check out the section and try one out!

whole30 starchy vegetable side dishes

Potatoes (white, gold, red)

Sweet potatoes

Root vegetables

Squashes

Plantains

Now my question for you – what is YOUR favorite starchy vegetable side dish recipe?  Have you done the Whole30 challenge before?  Happy eating!

Heather

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banana carrot almond flour pancakes

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These banana carrot almond flour pancakes are my new favorite breakfast!  There is so much to love about them – the flavor (sweet from the ripe bananas), the texture (soft but not mushy), and the goodness inside them (eggs! bananas! carrots! almond flour!).

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They are similar to my banana-egg-oat pancakes but made grain free with an added ump of veggies from the finely grated carrots.  Paleo and whole30 friendly if that what you’re looking for.  Perfect for anyone who’s looking for a breakfast that tastes like a treat, but is really filled with real whole food ingredients that energize your body! We love them topped with a little butter or natural peanut butter + unsweetened shredded coconut, which gives them even more staying power from the fat.

Related: my 10 favorite fats

My kids love them too – but really they get excited for any pancake.  I don’t try to hide veggies in food because I like them to know what they are eating.  That said, you really could not tell that there are 1.5 cups of carrots in the whole batch!  It’s just a bonus in case you do have picky eaters (kids and adults alike).  The key is to finely grate the carrots.  This makes them almost melt into the batter and become invisible, adding bulk and stability to the pancakes, along with sweetness.  Win-win-WIN!

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Prep them ahead of time by grating the carrots in advance and even mixing the batter up the night before.  They keep well in the fridge for a couple of days (if they last!).

Enjoy your new favorite breakfast!

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Banana Carrot Almond Flour Pancakes

Makes about 12 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 5 eggs
  • 1.5 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • coconut oil for cooking
  • optional for topping: unsweetened shredded coconut + butter or natural peanut butter

Directions

  1. Pre-heat electric griddle to 350 degrees or a large non-stick skillet to medium-high heat on the stove top.
  2. In a medium bowl mash the bananas then whisk in the eggs.  Stir the carrots, almond flour, cinnamon and sea salt into the banana-egg mixture.
  3. Add coconut oil to the griddle/pan and pour 1/4-1/3 cup of batter for each pancake.  Cook on the first side for 3-5 minutes, or until the top begins to bubble, then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Repeat with remaining batter.
  4. Sprinkle unsweetened shredded coconut on top or your favorite pancake toppings!

Tell me about the last pancakes you ate.  What is your go-to recipe?  Happy weekend all!

Heather

choose a focus word for the new year

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Hello!

The new year is right around the corner and lately I’ve been hearing a ton about resolutions, new beginnings and challenges people are looking to take on.  What about you, is it surrounding you too?  Are you getting excited for new challenges and goals?

For me, I don’t really jive with resolutions.  I am of the mind set that if I want to do something, I’m just going to start it when it becomes important in my mind.  Maybe you’re the same way, or maybe you thrive with goals to meet.

how to choose a focus word for the year

Whether you are into it or not, I have a new idea to throw out to you: choose a focus word for the year.

Focus Word for the Year

What is a focus word?  It is a word (or phrase) that you want your year to be about.  When you’re faced with decision throughout the year, your focus word will guide you.  When you look back on your year, the feel of the word/phrase shines through.

I’ve asked a few people around me think about what their focus word would be.  I had them share the word that popped into their mind first – what their heart was telling them.  Happier was shared a couple times along with more.  It’s so interesting to hear what other people’s focus words would be!

My focus word for 2017 is less.

Less seems so negative to me, because I am naturally drawn to more.  Doing more.  Being more.  Less is not a word I sought out, but my mind kept picturing it, and my heart kept sharing it.

Less to me means less running around and having time filled, less clutter and objects, and also saying no more to things.  Less of that so I can really do more of what is super important to me: connected with my people.

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I’m excited to see how my focus word guides me throughout the next year!

Does a particular word or phrase stand out to you as you go into the new year?  Please share!

Cheers and happy new year!

Heather

DIY orange butterfly costume

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Last week I shared Hunter’s DIY green T-Rex costume, and this week it is all about Zoe’s DIY orange butterfly costume!  I am completely in love with how adorable this turned out.  The flowers, the wings, the little flutter cap sleeves…. it’s just perfection.

DIY orange butterfly costume

I love the process of letting the kids pick out what they want to be dressed up as for Halloween.  We start talking about it a good month and a half before the actual day so they can really settle into their choice and know that once mama starts making their costume, there’s no switching.  Hunter was easy, he has a green T-Rex stuffed animal he loves, and never wavered from that.  I just showed him different costume ideas I saw on Pinterest and we both settled on the paper mache dino mask I shared last week.  You can read so much more about his full green dinosaur costume if you’d like.

Since Zoe is only 2.5 years old, she still needs ideas to pick from.  I start by sharing different costume ideas starting with animals and different jobs (think doctor, firefighter, etc.), while keeping in mind my own costume making ability.  Once she heard butterfly she was set.  I did the same thing with her, we looked at butterfly costume ideas on Pinterest and she settled on being a blue butterfly.  But, the blue didn’t last because I couldn’t find blue butterfly wings I liked so when it got down to time to order wings she chose orange instead, which worked out perfectly.

This year was my favorite costume making yet!  Everything came together and even has function after halloween is over.  Read on for the DIY orange butterfly costume deets!

DIY orange butterfly costume

DIY ORANGE BUTTERFLY COSTUME

Here are the details on Zoe’s DIY orange butterfly costume!

DIY orange butterfly costume - flower antenna headband

Flower antenna headband

This is my most favorite part of the costume.  It is also Zoe’s least favorite part of the costume.  She only kept it on for some pictures, so I’m saving it until she’s into it and wants to dress up with it.

My inspiration came from this pin for an antenna for sale.  Once I saw it I knew I could easily make one.  Even better, it was EASY!

Flower antenna headband how-to:

I started with a headband of Zoe’s that fit well.  I then used my hot glue gun to attach the rest. The antenna is black floral wire I wrapped around the headband and glued on, then shaped the swirly antenna.  The flowers and leaves are fake and cut off of stems of flowers I picked up at the craft store. The orange butterfly is a clip I also picked up at the craft store.  Easy peasy!

Orange butterfly wings

I wanted oversized wings on my little girl so I ended up purchasing orange adult sized butterfly wings on amazon.  I’m super happy with them!  Before I shorted the elastic for the arms, I wore them a couple times for my costume (a kids bday party and my body pump class on Halloween).  They move really well with you and have a pretty sparkle!

Here are the specific wings I purchased: Orange monarch butterfly wings

Black geranium dress with flutter sleeves

The geranium dress is my go-to pattern and I love using it in a solid color for costumes because then it can be worn as an everyday dress too.

Orange tights

Zoe already had thick orange tights on hand for her costume – they are these from Hanna Anderson.

Bonus tutu

I hadn’t planned this into her costume, but for some added fun she wore her yellow-gold tutu I made her last Christmas.  I tied it high in line with the waist of the dress.  The tutorial came from the book Oliver + S Little Things to Sew.

DIY orange butterfly costume - tutu

If you were going to be a butterfly, what color would you be?  I love the look of this blue butterfly (my original inspiration for Zoe’s costume), but orange seemed so classic – I loved it too!

DIY orange butterfly costume

Happy crafting!

Heather

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