february highlights

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I cannot believe it is the end of April!  I just flipped my calendar over to April about midway through the month and added a few things to it, but mostly, the days are blank.  It’s nice having so many days with nothing written on them – I’m definitely soaking in this time where my schedule isn’t full… just my hands. :)

As things sometimes go with a new baby, I got behind on my monthly highlight recaps, so today and later this week I’m playing catch up.  I love these highlight post – I can watch how the kiddos change each month, see what we did with our time and highlight the posts from the month.  As always, I hope you enjoy a peek into our February!

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There was a good week when the kids would walk hand in hand.  It didn’t last (Zoe is against it), but man, it’s cute and so sweet.  Hunter loves holding his sister’s hand.

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I shared a day in the life with two toddlers post (read HERE).

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We spent a morning playing at the kid’s club.  These kids love a good dance party + slides.  Rock on Hunter!

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Zoe the explorer.  Undies, backpack and binoculars courtesy of Hunter.

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Hunter practicing his knife skills.  For those of you interested, he’s using an ikea kid’s table knife, which is pretty dull.

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I shared this delicious 2 minute tuna avocado salad (recipe HERE).

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Cat hat.

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The plank house at the Ridgefield wild life refuge is one of our favorite spots to go walk.  Plus, it’s such a beautiful building.

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Wild life refuge walking.

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The walking bridge that takes you to the plank house over the railroad tracks.  It was such a gorgeous sunset that night.

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I don’t know about you, but I always think these car carts will make shopping easier.  It doesn’t.  Thank goodness for the lady who saw my kiddos and brought them balloons to entertain them (and keep their hands to themselves).

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I sewed up matching dot dresses for Zoe and her baby doll.  Love.

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We celebrated Zoe’s 2nd birthday with a pom pom party!  Read more here.

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A random stop in at the small fire station downtown.  The kids got a fire truck tour and stickers.  They were in heaven.

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He doesn’t nap often, but when he does, it usually involved Jacob or myself laying in bed with him.  A great reason to slow down and soak in some extra snuggles.

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I shared a post on raw liver and why I added it into my diet + a smoothie recipe!  Check it out here.

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Anything dirt and digging, they are into.  We cleaned up the garden and started to get it ready for spring planting.  This is the area next to the garden they get free reign to do whatever digging they in it.

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We started working on scissor skills this month.  Hunter was stoked, and did really well!

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I look away for half a second, and she face plants off of a bench onto the rough floor.  Thankfully it looks worse than it really was.

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Impromptu ice cream date and walk around town with my girl.

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Hunter woke up sick one weekend so just Zoe and I went to church that morning.  While it was not fun having a sick boy, I really loved getting one on one time with this kiddo.

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Near the end of my pregnancy and I shared what I packed in my hospital bag.  Read the post HERE.

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Sunshine and dandelions.  Love these three.

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This was not as messy as it got.

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Testing out the baby tub with a little spa treatment.

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I taught my last body pump class of this pregnancy at 39 weeks.  Being an instructor keeps me motivated to stay strong until the end.

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Without any prompting, he built these dumbbells and showed me his workout.  Like mother, like son.

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I wrote a post on helping your kids to become real food loving kids by giving them the power of choice while grocery shopping.  (read HERE)

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Two years with this gal has been pretty amazing.  Read her Dear Zoe post HERE.

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At Zoe’s 2 year check up.  Happy birthday Zoe, here’s a shot! #momfail

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Birthday treat steamed milk for my favorite littles.

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My youngest brother came and spent a morning with us while he was here on his Air Force leave.  The kids had a blast with him.

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A morning of worm hunting with these two around the neighborhood.  Little did I know what I had in store for that day.

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That worm hunting evening, Nova Sienna arrived!

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Beautiful baby girl.

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Zoe meeting her sister was the sweetest thing.  All she wanted to do was hold her (and that’s still true to this day).

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Back home with our sweet baby girl to end February.  It was a pretty exciting month!

Heather

Want more highlights?  Check out previous months:

three steps to calm the worry

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Adjusting to three kids has been a lot harder than two.  Most days I feel like I’ve got the day figured out, but other days I question everything I do.  Nova is almost 2 months old now and as sweet as can be.  Hunter and Zoe adore her.  She doesn’t even know how into her they are.  I couldn’t have asked for an easier baby, yet I still find myself struggling.  I struggle to find balance.  I shared more about this in a recent newsletter, but I noticed myself beginning to feel anxious on certain days when I taught in the evenings.  Nothing major, just more worry in my head about making sure everything was getting done and people were sleeping and eating when they needed to be doing those things.  I wanted everything done on a schedule so that I’d feel like I had it together when the time came for Nova and I to leave for the evening, because everything including leaving the house takes longer with a baby.

  
The worry wasn’t fun, but instead of drowning in my struggle, I decided to take action.  

Step 1) figure out where the worry stems from

The biggest worry and stressor came at dinner time.  I love cooking, but worrying that I would have to try and hold a baby or entertain toddlers while needing to chop and cook was the challenge.

Step 2) create an action plan

I realized meal prep was needed.  If I could eliminate a lot of the prep work and all I had to do was cook the meal, I wouldn’t stress as much.  It would give me the opportunity to cook more easily earlier in the day if I wanted to as well.  I made a meal plan, wrote out my grocery list and a list of things to prep.

Step 3) put plan into action 

I bought groceries one day, then the next day I spent the afternoon prepping foods to make my life easier, and it worked! It totally alleviated my worry and made my life so much easier when dinner time rolled around.  Here’s a list of what I made one week:

  • Baked granola for breakfasts/snacks 
  • Baked chicken breasts and thighs for lunches and a dinner and diced after cooling (marinated in Italian dressing, ketchup, avocado oil, garlic, sea salt and pepper)
  • Sautéed 2 lb of ground beefalo (1 lb used last night for spaghetti which I added a jar of sauce to once I separated it, the other to be used for burrito bowls)
  • Prepped Thai zucchini beefalo meatballs to be cooked
  • Grated an extra zucchini to add to pancakes for one or two breakfasts
  • Made peanut butter fudge cups
  • Roasted a full sheet of diced sweet potatoes for breakfasts/lunches
  • Diced fruit for snacks/lunches (strawberries and cantaloupe)
  • Sliced bell peppers for snacks/dinner
  • Cut up broccoli so it’s ready to steam for a dinner
  • Chopped lettuce for dinner salads
  • Diced salami for the pizza dinner
  • Made kale chips for that night

  
When I am struggling in whatever the situation may be, I find taking an action always helps. I feel better when I do something instead of nothing and continuing to worry and become more anxious.  Hooray for taking action!

Can you relate?  Do you have a situation you need to tackle with these three steps?

Heather

positive body image after having a baby

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A few days ago I was driving in the car, just Nova and I.  There were no toddlers to distract my thoughts as I listened to a podcast on the calm drive home.  At a stop light I randomly looked down, for no reason at all.  As I glanced down I saw my stomach hanging over the seat belt.  I saw it, gave it no thought, and moved on.  But then I had a thought… I should be upset about it.  But I wasn’t.  I didn’t dislike my body.  I just saw my body, how it was, with no negative thoughts, and I was shocked.

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I grew a baby for 9 months.  Then I had a baby 5 weeks ago.  I knew my body had changed.  I loved the changes.  I had a baby and without even forcing it on myself I gave myself grace.  Grace to have body peace.  Peace with where my body is at right now and not wishing for where it will be months from now.

I have gone through the postpartum part twice before, and this third time I have a different mind set about it.  It’s not something that is crowding my mind.  It crowded my mind with previous pregnancies.  I even have a whole page dedicated to my post baby weight loss journey from when I was pregnant with Hunter.  It was a bigger deal to me then, but now it’s not a mental priority.  It’s not something to add stress about.  I have so many more important things and people in my life, why add the mental stress about something that isn’t the most important thing in the world?

Maybe my mind set has changed because I know it took 9 months to grow a baby and change my body, and that I don’t have expectation about instant changes (that’s just not realistic).  I’m also happy with where I am at.  I know with my real food way of eating, being active, and working to not stress about as many things, the weight will naturally go away when my body is ready to let go of it. I also know from my previous pregnancies that it usually begins to happen around the 5 month post baby mark for me, so I’m not forcing anything and it is so peaceful to feel that way.

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I just want all you ladies out there to know, it is okay to take your time losing the baby weight.  It is okay to love your body after you have a baby.  Your body will look different, and it may take a while to get back to where you were before, but the more grace you give yourself in the journey, the better you’re going to feel as a person, as a mother, and as an example to others that may be struggling with negative body image thoughts about themselves.

Give yourself grace.

Love your body for what it does for you.

Calm the negative self talk, and up the positivity in your mind.

Your baby, your family and most importantly, YOU deserve it.

How is your mind set post baby?  What are your struggles?  How do you work to overcome them?

Heather

nova’s birth story {part 2}

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If you haven’t read the first half of Nova’s birth story, be sure to go back and check that out and then come back here for more.

I left off with us heading down from our bedroom to leave for the hospital.  When we got down the flight of stairs, I decided on one more trip to the bathroom before the 30 minute drive to the hospital.  Going pee was the worse.   Even if I wasn’t in a contraction, going to the bathroom made one come on.  Then standing back up gave me one.  Jacob told me he was going to run the bags out to the car then come back to help me walk to it.  My reply (which I’m sure was quite grumpy) was that I wasn’t going to wait and I would walk when I could, since I couldn’t walk through these contractions.  I wanted to make progress to the car when I wasn’t in immense pain.

Up the outside stairs, into the garage, Jacob got the door for me and held my arms as I went through a contraction.

Now comes the worst 30 minutes.

The moment the car is turned on and we leave up the driveway, my contractions go to a new level.  I blame the vibrations of the car and being forced to sit, but dang they hurt!  The driving felt jerky, too fast and just made everything hurt so badly (I’m sure the driving was normal, I just wasn’t in a normal state).  Contractions were coming on every couple of minutes.  I would close my eyes, tap my fingers on the car door intensely, then as the wave of pain would pass, the tapping would begin to slow until it stopped.  Now even though the pain was unreal, we still managed to talk in between the contractions for some moments.  I don’t remember what about, except for two conversations.  We’ve laughed about the first one many times now.  At some point on our drive I said “I hope they don’t send us back home if I’m not far enough along yet”. Jacob lovingly agreed with my statement, but thought I was a crazy lady in his mind.  My worry didn’t happen.  The second conversation I recall was me telling him to take lots of pictures during the birth since I didn’t want the third baby to be left with no pictures.  That one didn’t happen either.

We arrive at the birth center parking lot at 8:30pm.  

Jacob went to park in an open spot near the birth center front door.  Unfortunately he didn’t see that the sign said ‘for practitioners’.  I saw it.  I yelled, “you aren’t a practitioner, you can’t park here”.  As he went to back out if the spot, I made him stop driving so I could handle the contraction in a non-moving car.  It passed and he parked in the next parking lot area.

We got out of the car, he grabbed our bags, and I had my arm over his shoulder as he helped me walk in.  A contraction hits and I’m on the ground.  I can’t stand through it.  It passes and we take a few more steps.  Another one comes and I’m back on the ground.  I then tell him to get a wheelchair, that I just don’t want to walk anymore.  He runs to the birth center to get one.  After the contraction passes, I get up, take a few more steps and another one hits me.  I’m back on the ground and I break down.  I can’t stop crying.  Not because of the pain, but it’s just an emotional release.  As I’m on the ground I see a lady walk by across the road and I’m instantly pissed – why is she not helping me?  I’m in labor, crying on the bark dust.  To her defense it was dark and I was in black clothes.

Moments later Jacob and a nurse come out with the wheelchair.  Lisa sees them and is walking up too.  She hadn’t seen me in the bark dust either and ran over along with Jacob and the nurse.  They helped me into the wheelchair (I’m still crying non stop) and offered many words of encouragement about how great I was doing.  Lisa told the nurse about my labor throughout the day, which midwife group was mine, that I wanted a water birth, and that triage probably wasn’t necessary for where I was at in my labor.

We went to triage.

In triage I got out of the wheelchair, and a contraction came on, which had me back on the ground on my hands and knees.  Maybe one or two more happen and my water broke.  I yelled, “my water broke – oh my gosh the baby is coming” probably on repeat.  The nurse insisted on checking me, so finally when I wasn’t having a contraction I let her check me.  And I was right, the baby was coming!  I’m off of triage floor and onto the bed, on my hands and knees with a blanket draped over me as they rolled me E.R. style to the delivery room.

Things are crazy – there are so many nurse – they are all getting things ready (I assume… Jacob tells me there were many and it was hectic).  We are in the room and I’m yelling over and over again, “take off my socks, take off my socks”.  Finally the midwife heard me and took them off.  She put Jacob at ease with her chill demeanor and made comments about how we are wearing the same socks.  She came to see my face, told me her name (I met her once or twice when I was pregnant with Zoe), smiled and said “let’s have a baby”.  Loved her already.

All this seems like it lasted a minute long, but I’m sure it was many more than that.  After my socks are off, a contraction came on and I wanted to push, so I did.  I’m pushing (maybe fast), and the midwife told me slow down a bit.  Another contraction came and I pushed as she guided me along – when to slow and when to continue – and then all of a sudden a baby was born!  The midwife laid her on the table under me (since I delivered her on my hands and knees).  The rest of my water broke right onto where she is laying (poor girl).  After the water wasn’t pouring down onto her, I remembered to look and see – it’s a girl! I grab her up and held her close as I sat on the bed.  Instant love.  Instantly I also felt totally normal again.  I went from the most intense thing in my life, to instant relief and no pain.

8:46pm Nova Sienna was in my arms.

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I am still shocked by how quickly it went down.  We arrived at the hospital parking lot at 8:30pm and she was born at 8:46pm!  Never would I have imagined her arrival would be this quick, but it’s a birth I always hoped I would get to have – laboring at home as long as I could handle (in hindsight I cut it a wee bit close), no IVs and no need for pitocin.  Completely natural!

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Like I said in the beginning of part 1, each of my kiddos births have been different and unique, and I’m so thankful to look back on all three with such a positive light. It is so amazing, thrilling, painful (but you really do forget that), and the greatest joy to bring babies into the world.  And then keep them and love on them!  And we sure love our Nova so very much.

I hope you enjoyed reading our experience.  I love birth and sharing our unique story.

Heather

Want to read more birth stories?  Check out Hunter,  Zoe and Nova’s below!

confessions of a pregnant group fitness instructor

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Yesterday I taught my first post-baby fitness yoga class, and while I had not initially planned to do the workout as well, I was itching for some movement.  It had been a little over a month since my last workout (which was fitness yoga the day before I had Nova!), and my body was beginning to crave it.  I kept my movements easy, and it felt AMAZING!  Turns out I missed the endorphins too.

The class was easier than I expected, and I realized the reason why – I wasn’t pregnant anymore.  I didn’t realize how big of a difference that made until the baby bump was gone.

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Today’s post I actually wrote 2 days before I had Nova, the day I taught my last Body Pump class.  I had planned to share it that weekend, but then Nova arrived!  And newborn life happened.  So with my first post baby workout in, now seems a great time to share my confessions of a pregnant group fitness instruction.  Because it hasn’t been that long since I was pregnant, and they are all SO TRUE.

Enjoy!

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It really does make me smile ear to ear when people tell me how amazing they think I am for teaching and doing what I do – while 9+ months pregnant.  What can I say? It’s endearing to hear nice things about yourself! (Everyone tell pregnant ladies how great they are, it makes them feel good)

If it wasn’t my job, I would not be working out like I do.  When you’re pregnant and tired, and tired and pregnant, it is SO hard to stay motivated to move, so I feel pretty blessed that I receive forced motivation to exercise almost daily.

Even when I really don’t want to teach (see tired and pregnant above) I NEVER regret it.  I love my classes, my people and I love how exercise makes me feel.  It helps me fight the tired and pregnant feelings.

Sometimes (most times) I am already sweating just moving my weights around and setting up for the class.  And THEN we start working out.

And then I can’t breath.  Not because I am working out really hard, but this child is pushing on my lungs and the whole moving/lifting/talking thing gets tricky.

I do a whole lot more “form checks” the more pregnant I am.  Hey, form is important!

I have peed myself a little during jumping jacks. More than once…

Black pants are the best.  See pee note above.  And hey, if your water breaks it will hide that better too!

Towards the end I worry that my water will break during a class and that my face will turn a new shade of red.  It would be a bit embarrassing, maybe a little gross for the gym floor, but then also exciting!

Teaching while pregnant is an instant motivator – so many people have told me that if I can do it while pregnant, they’ve got to try too.  How will I motivate like this when I’m not pregnant anymore?

A little pop and lock with a big baby bump during a warm up brings a whole lot of laughs to everyone.  Yes, I know my dance moves look even more ridiculous when I’m pregnant. Gotta keep exercise fun though!

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Can you relate with any of my confessions?

Heather

no diets, just eat real food

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I really dislike the word diet.  For years in my teens it was negativity associated with weight – the desire to lose it.  It’s a word that can carry a whole lot of stress, anxiety and worry along with it.  Just a whole lot of mental exhaustion.

I feel so thankful to have moved on past that part in my life.  I have embraced my love for food and no longer carry a diet mentality around.  I know it brings me more happiness and even more health too.  The food I eat, which in turn is my diet, makes me feel the best I ever have.  It nourishes me, takes care of me and allows me to be active and do all the things I want to do.

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But as I write all this, I’m a bit saddened.  I know there are so many people, especially women, that live with the diet mentality I have known all too well.  The calorie counting, obsessing over when to eat next, the ‘diet’ foods that I assumed were healthier for me, worrying about foods I ate but “should have avoided” and the hunger.  Can anyone relate?  It’s not a fun place to be.  Not at all.

But I’ve moved on, and I am thrilled about it!  When I discovered that focusing on real foods, foods that are as close to nature as possible, would help me to not only feel amazing, but to also help me look the best I have in my life, I was hooked.  No more worry and stress, all I had to do was just eat real food.

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Nowadays I fuel up with a ton of variety of beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, lots of fats (butter, half and half, coconut/avocado/olive oil, fat from meats, avocado), plain whole fat yogurt, rice, nuts/nut butters, seeds, oats, some pasta, sweet and regular potatoes and of course, super dark chocolate or random treats, but they are not the bulk of what I enjoy and I work to limit excess added sugar because I feel best when I do that.  I cook often, buy a whole lot of ingredients and limit the processed foods that come into our house.

I have so much more to share on this topic, but I want to hear what your questions are!  What do you want answered in my next post on just eating real foods?

Happy Monday and start to the week!  Today I’m going to attempt my first solo trip to the grocery store with three kids.  Fingers crossed for success and no tears (from them and me).

Heather

nova’s birth story {part 1}

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I’ve had almost a month to collect my thoughts and emotions around Nova’s birth and I’m excited and ready to share Nova’s birth story!  Today is part one, next week will be part two.  I love that each of my kiddos births have been different and unique, and Nova’s most definitely was!

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It all started about 10 days before my due date.  I could tell my body was beginning to prepare for labor since I had 4-5 nights of really bad sleep and contractions throughout the night.  I would go to bed, they would begin and I’d wonder if this was maybe it.  But it wasn’t.  Those nights of poor sleep went by and I began to feel less contractions each day and my sleep got better.

Now we fast forward to February 27th, the day before my due date.  The morning started out like any other Saturday – coffee and breakfast with the kiddos (Jacob wasn’t feeling well so he spent most of the day in bed).  After a bit we decided to go outside on a worm hunt around 10am (read more about the worm hunt here).  Mainly to enjoy being outside since it wasn’t raining, but also to keep the house a bit quieter so Jacob could rest.

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The kids loved picking up worms and stashing them in their buckets.  And puddle splashing was a bit hit, as always.  When we took off up our drive way, contractions began pretty much instantly.  It wasn’t anything bad, just the uncomfortable crampy feeling that I took notice to.  As we walked and searched for worms, they seemed to be consistently spaces about 10 minutes apart.  Sometimes I stopped walking to let it pass, other times I kept on moving.

Around 11:30am we got back home.  I put a quick show on for the kids to watch while I prepped lunch.  I have no memory of what we ate, but I’m sure something simply.  Contractions were still the same.  Manageable but noticeable.  I texted my mom (who would be watching the kids) and friend/nurse/doula Lisa and told them that I’d been having regular contractions and that maybe labor was beginning!

Lunch finished, I put Zoe down for a nap and had Hunter nap with Jacob.  Then I began to get things done.  I did a couple loads of laundry, took care of the dishes, picked up around the house, finished this post and schedules my newsletter to go out the next day, and spent some time bouncing on the exercise ball while at the computer.  Contractions were still happening regularly, but again, manageable.

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Then around 3pm I rested on the couch to see if the contractions would either continue or slow down.  We stayed up real late the night before with some friends so I thought maybe my body was just overtired and with rest they would halt.  But they didn’t.  They seemed to be more consistent and closer together – around 6 minutes apart and beginning to get more intense.

After the kids woke from naps, around 4ish, I put on a show or movie downstairs.  I was starting to need calm and to parent a little less and it did the trick.  I downloaded a contraction timer to start tracking them since the intensity kept picking up.  I did not feel good standing through them and I spent more time on my hands and knees.  If I was resting they’d be about 6 minutes apart, but when I was moving around they would come more quickly and would be shorter.  During that time I also had a change in discharge – pink tinted and a whole lot more flowing (lovely, right?).

At 5:20pm I called in reinforcements.  I was feeling grumpy and short when I woke Jacob up from his sleep. I recall saying something like “I just need you to help with the kids!”… in a not very nice tone.  I think he knew things were serious then.  I was really trying to maintain calm, but I know my demeanor was not kind.

We were all downstairs and I decided to order food from a restaurant close to our place since I didn’t want to cook.  Jacob was going to pick it up, but instead I decided to have my dad pick it up on the way over and to take the kids to his place after we ate.  I didn’t know when I’d be having this baby, but I didn’t want to call my parents in the middle of the night to get them, so I thought it was better for the kids to go that evening.  I called in the order and we hung out while we waited for my dad to get to our place.  He arrived around 6pm and him and Jacob got the food setup on the table.  I ate in between contractions.  I thought they were still around 5 minutes apart, but apparently they were closer to 3 minutes apart.  Maybe I should have stayed timing them?

After eating I sat on the couch, contraction after contraction, as my dad and Jacob got the kids ready to go.  They were definitely uncomfortable and intense.  There was no talking during them, just breathing and focusing on relaxing.  I remember during that time wanting a really nice goodbye and hugs from the kids since I knew this was real labor now, but they were all wound up and I didn’t get any snuggles from them.  They took off a little after 7pm.

After the kids were gone I decided on us hanging out in our room watching TV to relax and maybe resting a bit while I worked through my contractions.  Jacob cleaned up the downstairs, got all the lights off and we headed up to our room.  Instead of watching TV, I sat on the bed and told Jacob that maybe we’d head into the hospital and to slowly start grabbing the bags.  He asked if he could shave, which I said yes to.  As he was shaving I was on hands and knees through contractions.  They were hurting.  Sitting did not feel good.  Standing was no option.  He finished shaving and got our things together, and we headed downstairs to leave the house just before 8pm.

And that’s where I’ll leave it today.  Part 2 coming next week!

Heather

Want to read more birth stories?  Check out Hunter and Zoe’s below!

the worm hunt with naked cold pressed juice

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Oh how I love living in the Pacific Northwest.  The seasonal changes and all the gorgeous trees and nature surrounding us are some top reasons for why it’s the best place around.  Sure we get rain often, but what rain brings out are worms!

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One Saturday morning the kiddos and I set out from our house on a worm hunt.  They got their buckets, boots and jackets (it had been raining earlier that morning) and we took off to see how many worms we could collect.  Hunter loved stopping and petting the worms before capturing them in his bucket.

IMG_3005Zoe just loved following her brother and ‘picking up’ (mostly smashing) the worms.  We had a blast!

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There is something so refreshing about being in nature.  The fresh air, cool breeze on that morning and  being surrounded by all the green brings me so much happiness.  I believe being out in nature is such an important part of living a healthy life — and especially exposing it to my children.  They need the outdoor time as much as I do, and I know we all benefit from it.

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To make the worm hunt even more special, I brought along one of the new Naked Cold Presses Juice blends for us to enjoy mid worm hunt.  It was a good time to stop and count all the worms too.

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We found a big rock and passed the lively carrot juice blend between us.  We absolutely loved this juice!  It’s such a delicious blend of five juices – carrot, apple, orange, cucumber, lemon with a hint of vanilla and turmeric.  Normally I am not a carrot juice fan, but the addition of orange and lemon brightened up the flavor and really made it pop.  I love that Naked Cold Pressed Juices have no added sugar, no preservatives and are verified by the Non GMO Project, which makes it something I’m excited to share with my kiddos.

IMG_3038If you’re looking for the perfect energizing juice to take along on your next worm hunt, or any outdoor adventure, be sure to check out one of the five new flavors of Naked Cold Pressed Juices! You can find Naked Pressed in your local West Coast stores and coming soon nationwide.

What did you do on your last outdoor adventure?

Heather

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

mini almond butter fudge cups

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Do you like almond butter?  (yes…)

And coconut oil?  (yup…)

What about fudge?  (of course…)

And mini foods?  (who doesn’t?)

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If you answers yes to any of those questions then I have the perfect bite sized treat for you!

Mini almond butter fudge cups.

Sounds amazing right?  It is.  The flavor of the almond butter is the star, with the slightest touch of sweetness from the honey and fudge-like creaminess from the chilled coconut oil.

Easy, fast and delicious have been my main kitchen criteria lately.  We have been so blessed by sweet friends and family that have brought us dinners, making the first couple of weeks home with Nova more simple and relaxing.  The meals that Jacob and I have been cooking have been just that, easy, fast and delicious.

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Hunter and I spent a little time making these treats one morning and they turned out to be such winners!  I love the fat content from the almond butter and coconut oil for a quick bite of energy when I need something fast but don’t have free hands to make anything.  The kids love them, and LOVE letting them melt in their warm hands making for a fun mess.  Plus they meet all three of my criteria – easy, fast and delicious!

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Hunter sat on the counter and filled the mini muffin tins with liners while I warmed up the fudge mixture on the stove.  After I poured the delicious soupy almond butter mixture into the cups, he sprinkled on cacao nibs.  Many nibs made it into his mouth during the process too.  A chill in the fridge and they were ready to enjoy!

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Mini Almond Butter Fudge Cups

recipe adapted from here

makes about 24 mini fudge cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 3-4 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • optional: cacao nibs for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Combine the almond butter, coconut oil, honey, vanilla and sea salt in a small sauce pan and warm over low-medium heat.  Whisk to combine and turn the stove off when it is smoothly combined.
  2. Add mini muffin liners into a mini muffin pan.  Evenly pour the mixture into the liners.  Top with cacao nibs and chill in the fridge until set.
  3. Enjoy right out of the fridge!

Do you let your kids sit on the counter when they help in the kitchen?  Are you an almond butter fan?  What is your favorite nut or seed butter?

Heather

naked cold pressed juice

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Whenever we have juice in the house the kids go crazy for it.  Their little hands grab for it and they steal sips from our glasses whenever they get the chance.

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The latest juice we’ve been loving are these adorable Naked Cold Pressed Juice blends.  They are so bright, flavorful and refreshing.  Plus I feel great knowing that each Naked Cold Pressed Juice is made with ready-to-eat, high quality fruits and vegetables that are cold-pressed right into the bottle. The juices are shipped immediately to ensure only the highest-quality, best-tasting juice hits the shelf every time.  The kids think they are getting a treat, when really they are just nourishing their bodies with every delicious sip.

Naked Juice recently launched their Naked Cold Pressed Juice blend line.  Here’s the breakdown of the five new flavors.

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Bright Greens

  • A refreshing blend of eight juices – apple, cucumber, celery, lettuce, lemon, kale, spinach and wheatgrass.
  • Each bottle of Bright Greens is a good source of Potassium and an excellent source of Vitamin K.

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Hearty Greens

  • A delicious blend of nine juices – celery, apple, lettuce, cucumber, orange, spinach, lemon, wheatgrass and kale with a hint of spearmint.
  • Each bottle of Hearty Greens is a good source of Potassium and Vitamin C and an excellent source of Vitamin K.

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Lively Carrot

  • A delicious blend of five juices – carrot, apple, orange, cucumber, lemon with a hint of vanilla and turmeric.
  • Each bottle of Lively Carrot is a good source of Potassium and an excellent source of Vitamin A.

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Bold Beet

  • A delicious blend of seven juices – beet, carrot, cucumber, apple, lemon, orange and ginger.
  • Each bottle of Bold Beet is a good source of Potassium.

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Cool Pineapple // my favorite – tastes like a tropic vacation!

  • A delicious blend of three juices – pineapple, cucumber and lemon with a touch of filtered water.
  • Each bottle of Cool Pineapple is an excellent source of Vitamin C.

I highly recommend these juice blends!  And so do my kiddos.  They taste very veggie forward, but are perfectly balanced with a touch of natural sweetness from the fruit.  You can find Naked Cold Pressed Juice in your local West Coast stores and coming soon nationwide.

What juice blend is calling to you?  

Heather

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.