Easy Peasy Guacamole - 1, 2, Serve!

Guacamole is my daughter's absolute favorite food. She becomes an animal, devouring it in no time. It's quite nutritious and delicious so I don't blame her but who has time to make fresh guacamole every day, heck, every other day or even a couple times a week?? I sure don't!

So aside from buying the ready made stuff (which just isn't the same), I came up with a guacamole "cheat" and it's Kennedi APPROVED. :)

So here's the quick and easy guacamole recipe:
1 Avocado
1/8 C Pico de Gallo
1/8 Lime

1. Cut avocado in cubes
2. Mix avocado, pico de gallo, and the juice from the lime. Pepper to taste!
SERVE!!! :)

My daughter devoured it in seconds. Toddler approved... and that's saying something!

^^ The face of a toddler guarding her guac!

Let me know if you try this recipe and how you enjoy it... by the spoonful, with some chips, or on a sandwich. Happy eating!



DIY Growth Chart

Awhile back I convinced my hubby to let me use a leftover board from a stair renovation for a small DIY project. What I love about using leftovers is that it is basically FREE!! I had the remainder of the supplies on hand too. So what if you didn't have all of these supplies on hand? This would still be an inexpensive project... $10 is my guess.

Below is the list of supplies and recommended steps. You'll have a cute growth chart in no time... or in less than two days. :)

1 wooden board, size doesn't necessarily matter. I used a board that was 1/8" thin and was cut to about 5'h x about 8"w.
1 small tin of wood stain or paint
A sharpie or other marker to write on the wood

1. Sand board to smooth the edges. Use lower grit sandpaper and work up to a finer grit.
2. Stain or paint the board and give it proper time to dry. I waited 24 hours for the stain to dry.
3. Once dry, lightly mark (I used pencil) the board with the appropriate measurements. Since my board was 5' and I wanted it to record taller heights I planned on mounting the board 1' off the ground and that means the board measures up to 6'.
4. Use the marker or paint to mark the board over the pencil marks.
Optional: Add a monogram, your family name, a quote, or a bible verse to personalize it!

And there you have it! An awesome, basically free, growth chart to stop time on those little ones that are growing faster than the weeds. :)



DIY Dry Shampoo

Hi there! This evening I spent some time in my lab, *ehem* my kitchen, replenishing my favorite beauty DIYs. I ran out of body wash last week. Before you judge, I have been using my husband's body wash since mine ran out... did you think I was just not washing?! I ran out of dry shampoo this morning and I have about one dollop of makeup remover left. It was a good time to take of all of it! I realized when I was in my lab that I have not yet blogged about my dry shampoo. This dry shampoo has been my go-to for second day hair for well over a year. I seriously cannot live without it (hence an emergency lab session the same day I ran out). So now I am blessing all of you with it's amazingness. :)

A little bit of history on WHY I don't wash my hair everyday and the evolution of my DIY dry shampoo. I have oily/greasy hair. It is a pain! I could barely go 12 hours without my hair looking like a grease mop. Not only that but the oil weighed down my hair. Over time I researched it. I researched dermatologist, stylist, and user recommendations and reviews of how often to wash hair and what to do with your hair between washes. I slowly moved away from washing my hair everyday (A good time to jump start this was maternity leave... not going to work gave me time to experiment. Plus who has time to shower with a newborn?!). This meant trying out dry shampoos.

Most all store bought dry shampoos were (1) leaving my hair white and cakey (2) not great smelling (3) expensive (4) filled with just plain crap. If I haven't said it a thousand times on my blog... your skin is a sponge! Take care of it knowing that all products soak right in.

Disenchanted with store bought dry shampoos I started experimenting with homemade concoctions. My first attempt was with rubbing alcohol and some powder (I tried to block this out)... FAIL. Pinterest made me do it! Ha. Don't believe everything you see on Pinterest unless it comes from a valuable source, like say, Purposeful Productions. :) I found a few recipes using items I have in my kitchen. I love recipes like that because if I can eat it I surely feel comfortable using it on the rest of my body. I did end up finding something that works great....So on to the recipe already.

This is really simple. I am not even sure I can call this a "recipe".

- Small container (I use an old foundation container)
- A makeup brush

- Cocoa powder
- Arrowroot powder
- Rosemary essential oil (optional)

Mix 1:1 of the powders. Add 5 drops of rosemary essential oil per 1/4 cup of dry shampoo. Shake to mix all ingredients.

Ok yeah... told you it was simple!

A few tips/tricks to note:
- If you have dark hair... use more cocoa powder
- If you have light hair... use more arrowroot powder. Experiment to find the right ratio for your hair.
- I use rosemary oil to stimulate hair growth. It is optional. I cannot confirm or deny it's helped with hair growth because that is difficult to measure but I still use it.
- When applying it to your hair less is more. Lightly dip your makeup brush in the powder, tap most of it off, then brush it along your roots by sections. Once you have sufficiently applied the dry shampoo to all sections of your hair, let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Brush your teeth, finish applying your makeup, be patient young one. Then comb through. Reapply to any oily spot if needed.
- Here is an interesting article from NPR on washing your hair... check out the link at the bottom. An article from 1908 about washing your hair. Too funny.

And yes. You will smell of chocolate deliciousness when you shower next! :)

Want to know what else I was mixing up in the lab? Check out my posts on DIY Makeup Remover and DIY Body Wash.

If you try this out come back and let me know what you think. If you try any other variations I would love to know!



FMD Phase 3: Shamrock Shake Recipe

A long day of running around with my two beautiful kiddos, workout, business, and then dinner at the pool... all to be capped off with the most delicious dessert. Oh and the best part? It has no sugar or sweeteners added AND it has veggies. Seriously, it was almost too sweet for me and that is saying a lot because my sweet tooth is about as big as they get! I am definitely making this one again. :)

I saw this recipe over here at detoxinista and knew I needed to try it. I LOVE (I don't know how I can emphasize that more ha!) shamrock shakes. March is the only month of the year I patronize McDonald's because I need at least one each year. If there is a legitimate substitute I am going to be all over it. St Patrick's Day 12 months of the year!!

The verdict: YES. YES. YES. It is a winner! :)

I am working on this Fast Metabolism Diet and Phase 3 is perfectly timed for the weekends, to indulge a little bit but you have to find healthy alternatives like this one. So here's the breakdown for this recipe:

1/4 avocado
1 cup Almond Milk (I use unsweetened)
5 dates pitted
1 handful of spinach
1/4 teaspoon of peppermint
1 big handful of ice

Dump it all in the blender and blend until it is smooth. Here's a tip from my wonderful sister... soak the dates for about a half day to soften them. They will blend easier! I accidentally spilled a little more peppermint in the blender so it came out almost too sweet but it was definitely delicious.

So go run out to the store now if you don't have all of these ingredients and treat yourself to something sweet without feeling guilty about it!

Have a great weekend! :)



Fast Metabolism Diet: Week 1 Review

So I made it through the first (of four) week of the Fast Metabolism Diet and I think like most changes there were positive and negative so this second week I am trying to put an upside spin on those negatives. Here are my thoughts on each of the phases:

Phase 1: Fruit & Carbs
This was a pretty easy start. Who doesn't love fruit all day? I love fruit and carbs are decently easy but keep in mind it is not the carbs you might think of... it's gluten free and no added sweeteners. I turned to organic brown rice, quinoa, and sprouted grains. I tried this recipe on Haylie Pomroy's (creator of FMD) website for brown rice flour tortillas. Yuck. Seriously gross. But overall, the phase was pretty easy. Here are my phase specific tips:
- Plan your cardio right after a snack/fruit to feed off of that boost in blood sugar. If I didn't then I got lightheaded.
- Keep it easy if you have to pack a lunch. I found individual microwave packs of brown rice that cooked in 3 minutes.

Phase 2: Veggies & Protein
I imagine this phase is difficult for about 90% of the people attempting this diet. It is pretty difficult to eat almost only vegetables and protein for two days straight. I literally forced myself to eat on that second day but started finding some hacks that worked pretty good. Here are my tips:
- Use your seasonings!
- Make a dressing-less salad less dry with fresh lemon or lime juice.
- Find a jerky that you love. It is so worth it for those snacks. The jerky protein bars I tried were not good! But it is probably just personal preference. See picture for reference.

Phase 3: Healthy Fats
The weekend is so difficult, especially over the summer. We are on the go and have parties and barbeques (we're just that popular... hoping you are picking up on my sarcasm!) and it makes it hard to stick to this regimen but I found myself dedicated to at least making better choices. For instance, we had a boating outing with our small group and I stuck to only two gluten free items and one gluten free beer, Omission. It was pretty good! And I only had one. :) On Sunday after church we went on an impromptu shopping outing and the food court had zero options (big surprise) so I went with what I thought would be the path of least damage and got a fruit and non-dairy smoothie. I do believe they added sweetener but wasn't positive. It is something I need to nail down for the next weekend! Here are my tips:

- Stay on top of your meal plan... carry your snacks with you. A little baggie of raw nuts is perfect.
- Don't be afraid of one cheat... be afraid of one cheat at every meal or even one a day. When you give yourself slack you just fall back into old habits.
- Make yourself something "sweet" and tasty. This is a great phase to feel like you're treating yourself. I made a PB Chocolate shake for breakfast Saturday morning and it was perfect. Recipe to come!

A picture of my son making friends with all of the mannequins when shopping on Sunday... He is pretty funny! "Anoter fake person! Take a piture pease." He was making friends everywhere we went. :)

Here is a link to my meal plan from last week. I tried updating it to reflect what I actually did so you would have an idea. But it should be used for just that- ideas. I will post my meals each week and you can see what I did to help with your own meal planning. I highly recommend trying new things each day and finding favorites that you can plug in later. I worked up Week 2 meal plan with a couple of favorites but still incorporated new ones. I want to come out of this with meal options that the family will love and that I can continue to make without reverting back to old habits.

Overall the first week was a success. I am going to slide this in at the end because I don't like it to be the main point or highlight. This diet as, I mentioned earlier, is more focused on eating right and getting your body back on track over weight loss, though it is likely to be a positive consequence. I lost about 8lbs in those 7 days. I feel pretty good, have energy, not starving, and I love that I am losing some of my squishiness haha but most of all I am starting to feel better about saying "NO" to sweets. That is my number one goal here!

Let me know if you decide to try the diet, if you have questions, or if you have ideas for that crazy phase 2!



Fast Metabolism Diet: Getting Started

A lot of changes in the last two months! I have accepted and started a job at a defense contractor doing a similar job that I previously did before I was a full time mom. AND my husband is now a full time dad. It is always difficult during transitions but it's all been filled with blessings! That is the reason, though, for my lack of posting. It's been busy working out a new groove, a new routine. Now that I am settling in I want to share about a new "diet" I started.

Let me start off with saying that this "diet" is less what you think of a "diet" and more of encouraging good choices. A diet, based on the dictionary definition, is "food or feed habitually eaten or provided". What you normally eat can be a good diet, a bad diet, a weight loss diet, or a lean diet. It is not just weight loss but it can be! In general, based on the normative American diets, we generally associate a diet as an action to lose weight and eat healthy. The Fast Metabolism Diet is very similar. The goal is not to lose weight per se but more on the side of eating healthy. The premise behind the FMD is that you reset your metabolism, clean out your system, and have a fresh start. While I need all of those things I also read that people stopped having sugar cravings (mine are so awful) and maximized their workouts.

I started the diet this past Monday (July 6) and it has gone surprisingly well so far. I am on day 6 of the 28 days and on day 2 of phase 3 in the first week. A mouthful there right?! So here is the basic premise of how it works.

There are 3 Phases in each of the 4 weeks for 28 days total. Here are the phases broken down:

There are phase specific exercises to do as well.

Phase 1: Cardio... goes well with all of those carbs!
Phase 2: Strength Training... to pair nicely with your protein.
Phase 3: De-stress Activity... which matches the laid back weekend attitude!

For me I focused on running for phase 1 cardio. Some options are intervals (help you recover if you aren't a runner just yet), elliptical, spinning, or just plain running! On phase 2 you can pick a strength workout to try. Since you are only doing strength once per week you will want to do multiple muscle groups during your workout, more dynamic strength training. There are plenty of at-home, body weight workouts on YouTube. For phase 3 my choice is yoga but meditation, quiet/no tech time, a massage will all work too.

Every week you follow this routine with a few other rules and it helps to reset your metabolism, get rid of your sweet tooth, and give you more energy. It is also an opportunity to get your regular diet back on track.

Here are a few more rules:

1. No caffeine
2. No alcohol
3. No sugar or sweeteners (with two exceptions)
4. No gluten
5. No dairy
6. Eat 5 times a day
7. Eat within 30 minutes of waking up
8. Eat organic produce and nitrate free meat (when possible)
9. Drink half your body weight in ounces every day
10. Do the phase specific exercises

I know I know. No one likes rules but these are for your benefit. So if you are dedicated to making a change then jump in... if you're not then you might not be ready for this yet.

I will post some recipes and a recap each week + menu for the next week. Hopefully that will help spark some ideas if you are interested in trying this out. Let me know if you try it and how it works for you. Keep in mind it is important to plan ahead. When you have to eat every 3 hours you need to be ahead of the game. Also, meal planning and prepping is key.

Tomorrow I will post on my review for week 1and the meal plan I used (with links to recipes). I'll give some information on what my results have been too.... You won't want to miss it. I've been surprised!

See you back here tomorrow! :)



DIY Perfume Rollers

It was about three years ago that I was 20 weeks pregnant with my first, a boy. At that time I was deciding on nursery decor, diapers, wipes, baby bubble bath, diaper creams, etc. I have been accustomed to reading food labels and checking ingredients but then I was starting to take notice of the labels and ingredients in other items. I was concerned when I found out what was in these baby products! I also became concerned with what was in my own products. It's been a long, slow journey over the last three years but I have faded out most all of the major store brand items in our home. I say slow because I would basically run out of window cleaner and then make a homemade recipe or run out of face lotion and replace it with my own cream and the same for body wash, makeup remover, and now I finally have a replacement for perfume!!

I used to wear perfume everyday until I learned of the hormone disrupting ingredients and negative affects on babies that are found in most store bought perfumes... that's scary! In a world where miscarriages are more and more "normal", I take it seriously when I find these types of ingredients in my products. So for the last three years I have not used perfume, not once. I swore it off and got rid of all of them! 

I recently fell in love with the scents of a couple essential oil blends and thought they would make perfect "perfumes". The great part is the peace of mind that I get knowing that the perfume is safe! The essential oils are thoroughly tested and they are certified pure therapeutic grade. 

Here is the recipe and supply list for you to make your own!

DIY Perfume Rollers:
- 25 drops of an essential oil blend
I chose a citrus blend and the uplifting blend but some other good options are relaxation blend and the women's blend. It just depends what type of scent you prefer. The citrus blend is a sweet citrus with vanilla. The uplifting blend is a flowery scent, without being too flowery. The relaxation blend is calming with lavender mixed in the blend, also flowery. The women's blend is a warm, musky aroma. 

Fractionated Coconut Oil (or you can try this one as well)
1/3oz Roller Bottle (a bulk pack is your best bet but there are options for buying less too... I use rollers for a lot of essential oil recipes!)

Remove roller top. Add essential oil drops. Fill with FCO and replace roller top. Now roll on and enjoy! 

I roll mine on my wrists and neck and behind my ears. I have found that mine lasts about 4 hours until I can't smell it on my wrist anymore. A good time to reapply and that is also why I like the roller bottles... they fit in my wallet clutch and are great for on the go. :)

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils please contact me!