Homemade Coconut Milk::

Have you ever decideD to bite the bullet and do things “the hard way” only to be blown away by how easy the hard way actually is? If you answered “yes!”, then you are certainly not alone! You see, now that little Miss P is a year old, she is no longer getting the majority of her nutrients from breast milk.  She eats LOTS of solid foods and can actually drink “regular” milk when I’m not around to nurse.  This means I have said sayonara to the pump and have started introducing breast milk alternatives into her diet.

If you’re unfamiliar with baby nutrition, it’s important to note that baby brains need fat, and lots of it.  In fact, about 50% of calories consumed by children aged 12-24 months should be from fat.  Meaning that it’s important for little ones, whose stomachs are still relatively small in size, to receive a concentrated amount of fat until they reach 2 years of age.

Of course, not all fatty foods are created equal, so that’s where my “hard way” journey begins.  When Piper turned 1, I knew that I didn’t want to move her from breast milk to cow’s milk.  Cow’s milk can be very inflammatory and after having visited the lush, green pastures of dairy farms in the UK, I just don’t quite trust the US dairy supply.  Call me crazy, but I knew there had to be some comparable alternatives.  After consulting P’s pediatricians both here in Franklin and in Orlando, I settled on trying goat’s milk first.  Well, that didn’t go over so well and Piper pretty much turned her nose up at it every time I offered.  Coming from a girl who will eat almost anything, I decided to try something else.

Enter: coconut milk.  Again, after much research, I decided that this naturally fatty alternative to mammal milk was a winner. Coconut is high in vitamins, minerals, fat, and fatty acids.  One in particular, lauric acid, is actually antiviral and antibacterial which is one of the properties that makes breast milk so beneficial and a huge reason as to why I’ve stuck it out this long in the first place.

To make a long story short, and to get to the DIY part of this post already, I found that I was pretty disappointed in the coconut milk options available commercially.  Not only is coconut milk found in the grocery store expensive, all of the options I found contained synthetic vitamins and emulsifiers, and although neither are particularly harmful in small quantities, I knew there had to be a simpler form I could feed my little one without unnecessary ingredients.  Thankfully, it only took referencing some tried and true resources to find my match!

Using the recipe provided by the Food Renegade, I set out to concoct homemade coconut milk.  And, let me tell you, it is cheap, easy, and delicious! Seriously.  It takes all of 5 minutes, from start to finish, to make a quart of the stuff and it is just SO good! The best part of all (even better than the fact that it ended up costing about a quarter of the price of the store-bought version) is that Piper loves it and I love giving it to her knowing that she’s getting lots of great nutrients without any gunk!

Below is my adjusted recipe for a quart of homemade coconut milk.  Please try it for yourself and enjoy a glass on me!HOMEMADE-2

What You’ll Need::

  • 5 Cups Filtered Water
  • 2 Cups Organic, unsweetened dried coconut
  • High powered blender. I recommend this Vitamix!
  • Cheese cloth
  • Air tight storage container

What To Do::

  1. Soak your coconut overnight in 1 cup filtered water to rehydrate.  This step is optional, but will restore some of the coconuts nutritional density.
  2. IMG_9126Place coconut in bottom of blender.blender
  3. Heat remaining 4 cups of water to a simmer
  4. Pour water over coconut and blend on high for 2 minutes.blending

 

5.Strain through cheese cloth and colander into bowl or stock pot. Be sure to ring out the cheese cloth once it’s cooled a bit to get all of the remaining liquid.cheesecloth

6. Transfer coconut milk to air tight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.coconutmilk,jpg

7. Enjoy!

Nourish and Be Nourished::

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Summer Skincare Essentials::

If you can’t tell by the growing number of “hotdogs or legs” photos in your Instagram feed, or the hoards of seasonal allergy sufferers in your midst, let me inform you, outright, that summer is on its way! Having moved away from the land of endless summer last year, I am actually pretty smitten with the idea of hot, long days that drag into hot nights.  The time for shorts and tank tops and flip flops and top knots is finally here!

Beyond prepping my dresser drawers for the changes that are happening, I’ve learned that skincare really changes with the seasons when you live in a climate that actually experiences them.  It seemed as if my skin never really adjusted to the dry, cold winter, so I’m doing everything I can to keep my skin happy this summer.

Below are a few of my new favorites that have been added to my old summer standbys.

Summer Skincare Essentials

 

  1. Coconut Oil:: By now, you’re likely familiar with the numerous benefits of coconut oil, but be sure to read up on them here if you’re not! I love coconut oil as a total body moisturizer, but perhaps my favorite use for it is as an eye makeup remover.  The gentle, anti-microbial oil will remove the toughest of makeup (say bye-bye to your waterproof mascara!) while nourishing your skin.  I love doTERRA’s fractionated coconut oil as it’s always in liquid form and ready for use!
  2. Honest Sunscreen SPF 30:: I find it interesting that most commercial sunscreens are full of harmful toxins when their job is to protect your skin.  That’s why I love Honest Company’s zinc sunscreen.  It shields my skin from harmful rays while protecting my whole body from harmful chemicals. Win-win! (PS-This new formula is way easier to apply than the original Honest SPF!)
  3. Neutrogena Naturals Makeup Remover Wipes:: I’ve been a long time fan of facial cleansing wipes and am pretty much obsessed with these from Neutrogena’s Naturals line.  They’re great to keep in your beach bag or by your nightstand for a no-fuss-get-clean routine. And, I love that they’re promoting environmental conservation with their #wipesforwater campaign.
  4. Beauty Counter Any Time Eye Cream:: Beauty Counter is one of those companies that just speaks to my heart.  They’re skincare, makeup, and healthy living all rolled into one! I highly recommend checking out their mission, and the crazy stats they present on toxins in the American personal care products.  Then, try this eye cream! Nothing makes me feel more like an adult than admitting that they tender skin surrounding my eyes needs a little extra TLC.  This lightweight eye cream is smooth and luxurious and just what my aging smile lines (read: wrinkles) need.
  5. Raw Honey:: You can go ahead and call me granola for this one (honey is a staple in any granola recipe, after all), but raw honey has been a secret gem in my skincare lineup.  Much like coconut oil, raw honey contains anti-microbial properties that are great for cleansing your skin.  Get a jar of the sweet stuff and you have a cleanser and exfoliant in one! Just rub a teaspoon of honey into damp skin and rinse with warm water.  You’ll swear you at a spa!
  6. Jason Age Renewal Moisturizing Cream:: Remember those smile lines I mentioned earlier? Well, I’ve officially made the switch to a moisturizer that will help my face age gracefully.  This moisturizing cream is safe for my insides, and oh-so-rich for my outsides. It’s chock full of vitamin E to help keep my skin moisturized for hours. Can’t beat that!

Did I miss any? I’d love to know what your go-to summer skincare essentials include!

 

Nourish and Be Nourished::

Mama’s Productivity Guide: Part IV-Give it Up::

It may be a little (ok, a lot) behind schedule, but I’m pretty thrilled to be rounding out my Mama’s productivity series with this last, most-important part of the productivity equation.  For those of you who have followed along, I hope you’ve gleaned some practical tips for getting more out of your every day grind.  The tools, the planning, and the preparation are all key to keeping the crazy away, but nothing is more important than what I share today.

Nothing.

You see, the reason I love scheming to be efficient, effective, and productive is simple.  I am a perfectionist.  I am type-A to a T.  I am a control freak.  I like having my ducks in a row, knowing exactly when to expect the next quack.  And that is why the finale of this series is so crucial.

I give you Mama’s Productivity Guide, Part IV: Give it Up!

Of course, I’m not telling you to give up any progress you’ve made in creating a well-planned and executed daily routine, but I am telling you to give up all of the worry and stress that comes with being a busy mama.  Give it up to God.  Hand over the big picture and hand over the minute details for there is nothing too big or too small for God.  He is in the nitty gritty with us and loves nothing more than when we trust in Him to work through us.

GIVE IT UP

I am reminded daily of how much I need to give it up and let it go, so I am certainly preaching to the choir here.  But, I can tell you from experience, when I practice this discipline of releasing control, that it is so freeing and so empowering.  When I release my worry (or “concern” as I often mask it), I am allowing for space in my emotional/mental/spiritual life that can be filled with what is Good.  What is Good in God.  What is Good in me. What is good in my family.  What is good in my home.

When I release the perfectionism that ultimately bogs me down, I am allowing for space in my emotional/mental/spiritual  life that can be filled with truth.  Truth about God.  Truth about me. Truth about my family. Truth about my home.

When I release the control that I cling so tightly to, I am allowing for space in my emotional/mental/spiritual life that can be filled with love.  Love for God.  Love for myself.  Love for my family.  Love for my home.

And don’t we all need more of what is good, more truth, and more love in our everyday lives?  I would venture to say we do.  In my mind, this is where the rubber meets the road.  We can arm ourselves with the right tools, and plan and prepare until the cows come home, but if we don’t set our minds on the big picture, it’s all for naught.

So, won’t you join me in allowing God to work through the busy-ness? Let’s hand it all over to Him, so that He may reflect the blessings of our busy lives back down on us.  One productive day at a time!   Nourish and Be Nourished::

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Piper Turns ONE | First Birthday Essentials::

IMG_6006I can’t tell you how many times I was warned that the first year of Piper’s life would fly by.  I’d attempt to give you an estimate, but it’s truly too many to count and I now know why because it is absolutely true.  The days of swaddling and sleeping in my arms are gone.  My little baby has turned into a big one year old and I am so proud and honored to be her mama and to have survived the first rear relatively unscathed!

As sweet P’s birthday approached, I finally “got” it in regards to a 1st birthday.  If you’d asked me several months ago, I’d tell you that we were going to have a plastic table cloth with the Disney character du jour on it, accompanied by a couple plastic cups and a sheet cake.  We’d keep it simple and sweet because Piper wouldn’t remember it after all.

Wellllll, I will be the first to admit that the more I’ve gotten to know this sweet girl of mine, the more I wanted to really celebrate her first year with a little handmade love.  I can’t pass up a good project, after all, and a birthday party for my little P was the perfect outlet to get crafty and sentimental and generally overwhelmed with joy.

After bouncing a few theme ideas around in my head, I settled on something girly and outdoorsy.  Piper loves being outside and it seemed like a perfect nod to her preferences and the slight woodland theme her nursery exhibits.  I started with the invitation and let it flow from there! (PS-If you need some inspiration coming up with the perfect color palette, I’d highly recommend using Coolors!)

Invitation

 

From there, I really just created the necessities.  If you ask me, EVERY first birthday part needs the following:

  • 1st Year Board:: Love this little shout out to all of Piper’s stats and loves. I took LOTS of inspiration from my friend Kristen at Dusty Slate Co. and created a simple board that serves as a sweet reminder of the first 12 months of Piper’s life. IMG_8657
  • Photo Booth:: This one is a no brainer for any party.  Give your guests somewhere to snap a photo or two to commemorate the special event. And, I have to point out that my Dad is responsible for those birch trees. Are they perfection, or what!? IMG_0762
  • Smash Cake:: Because I’m obsessed with human anatomy, I’ve chosen to keep grains out of Piper’s diet until her first molars have come in.  So, a traditional cake was out of the question.  What I did do, however, was combine some of her favorite foods to assemble a “cake” for her.  The cake layers were made from fresh watermelon and the frosting was whipped white sweet potatoes and frozen blueberries.  I have to admit that it turned out just as I had hoped!

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  • Year-in-Review Photos:: Cue the mama tears on this one! For Piper’s 1st year, I took a photo of her in a white onesie, on a white backdrop, as she grew another month older.  Put ‘em altogether and you’ve got one precious photo collage! It’s remarkable to see how she changed month-to-month, from a tiny newbie to a big one-year-old.

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  • Goodie Bags:: As a kid, I always looked forward to the goodie bag I’d get to take home from a friend’s birthday party, so I made sure we had a little something for our guests as a parting gift.  In keeping with our woodland theme, everyone had a paper bag of trail mix to munch on during the trek home!

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  • Food & Drink For All:: Of course a 1st birthday party is for the kids, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the adults.  I chose a variety of snacks that kids would enjoy, but definitely favored the adult palate with fruit, veggies, dips, and some sweets.  And lest I forget the smash hit “beermosa” for all those parents!

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  • Loved Ones:: This should go without saying, but no birthday celebration (especially a first birthday) is complete without the world’s best guests.  It was such a joy to see how many people just adore our little Piper Mae.  She is truly blessed to have so many people who will be loving her forever!IMG_8659

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Oh, and one more thing! Can we please just talk about the “1″ crown and tutu that my mom MADE for P’s big day!? They were pretty much the cherries on top of her sweet sundae self! IMG_3511

 

Nourish and Be Nourished::

Get the Skinny::

You must believe me when I say that I never thought I would be “that” mom.  You know, the mom that gushes about being a mom, and never stops talking about the x,y, and z that goes into be a mom? Yeah, that’s the mom I never thought I’d become.  But, over the course of the last 10 months, I have realized that it’s nearly impossible to actually avoid being “that” mom.  For me, at least. I became A mom in a flash the moment Piper was born, and have slowly (but surely) become “that” mom with each passing day.

Honestly, my inclination is to cringe at the very thought of stating that publicly, but when I really think about it, I’m beyond honored to be “that” mom.  My new role, the one that I will hold for the rest of my life, is the most important role I will be given.

So, I’m diving in head first and singing it from the rooftops, but not going back on my promise of refraining from keeping the pages of Nourish all about baby.  And, I (and you, really) have Skinny Mom to thank for the opportunity! Their blog, “where moms get the skinny on healthy living” has been a great resource for me over the last year and I am thrilled to be a part of their new Resident Moms program.  I’ve been given the space to gush and discuss all things mama without feeling the pressure to hide being “that” mom.  Badge-300x300-2

I hope you’ll follow along and I promise to keep you up-to-date on my goings on over at Skinny Mom.  Below is a recap of my first month-ish as a Resident Mom. I encourage you do spend some time getting to know Skinny Mom as there are more recipes, workouts, and healthy living tips than any mom (or non-mom) could ever imagine!

  1. A brief intro to the Resident Mom program and why I chose to join!Jordan-weaver-2-copy-400x400
  2. An easy, healthy Greek inspired lunch!wrap
  3. Tips for complimenting your sweet, glowing, gorgeous pregnant friends!pregnant-women-talking-copy1-400x400
  4. An amazing breakfast recipe for nursing mamas!oatmeal-400x400

Nourish and Be Nourished::

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Mama’s Productivity Guide: Part 3-The Night Before::

Welcome to Part III of Mama’s Productivity Guide–The Night Before! Due to my lack of productivity, if you’ve been following along, you’ve had lots of time to get the hang of planning for a productive week and implementing some of the supplies needed to execute successfully.  If you’re just jumping in, you can catch up on Part I (gathering the right supplies) and Part II (the planning phase) and meet us back here!

In the last post, we discussed the importance of planning and preparing for your week ahead.  We reviewed the big picture, so today I want to share a couple practical tips that will get each day off to a seamless start with just a little prep the night before. I’m what most people would consider a morning person, and because I really love my mornings, I want them to be stress-free and a chance to enjoy the happiness a fresh day brings. (Side note: I’m pretty sure every baby in the history of babies is happy in the morning, no?)

Below are my top 3 tips for setting yourself up for a glorious morning:

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  • CLEAN UP! This may not be fun, or what you want to hear when it comes to preparing for a good day, but it must be done.  Studies have shown that a tidy environment can help you think more clearly and make healthier decisions, both of which come in handy when you’re a busy mom.  Beyond that, I just love the feeling of waking up to a clean house.  So, whether you have a pile of papers to organize, or a pile of dishes to clean, 20-minutes can go a long way in getting your space in order for a productive morning. And, can I please just give a shout out to my Dyson vacuum?  The thing is a work horse in a house with a big, shedding dog and I don’t know what I’d do without it.
  • STAGE YOUR BREAKFAST! This is one of those things I started doing when I starting working a serious 9-5.  It made me feel like I’d truly made it to adulthood.  And, now more than ever, I rely on the routine that my coffee maker will be ready to go the minute I wake up (mark my words, one day I will  buy a fancy one that has a timer so my cuppa is already  brewed upon waking!).  I go so far as to have the spoon, sugar, and mug in place for an easy pour.  I also make a habit of setting up my breakfast as best I can the night before.  If I’m having oatmeal, the pot filled with water is already on the stove, ready to go.  It just seems that a few minutes’ preparation at night can buy me beaucoup time in the morning, making for a smooth transition into the day with a fully fueled body!
  • PREPARE FOR DEPARTURE! This might be the simplest of all, but the most important tip for a hassle-free morning.  If you need to get out the door quickly each morning, do yourself a favor and simply set everything you need to physically get going right by the door.  Whether it’s your keys, wallet, purse, packed lunch, laptop or breast pump, it is amazing how much time you can save by having it all ready to grab as you make your exit.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone on an all-out manhunt for keys in the morning.  I’d much rather go to bed minutes later than planned in order to gather my belongings, than stress that I’m going to be late for an appointment, meeting, play date in the morning.

These simple steps have been game-changers for me when it comes to the productivity of my mornings.  On the rare night that I forego the prep, I truly regret it in the morning.  I find that once I get started on the clean-up in the evening, I have enough energy to get everything done and then some.  I’d love to hear some of the ways you harness your evening in order to enjoy your morning!

 

 

Nourish and Be Nourished::

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Mama’s Productivity Guide: Part 2-Planning::

Congratulations! If you’re reading this post, you’ve already gathered your productivity tools and are ready to tackle the planning phase of creating a productive routine!

If I’ve taken liberties in assuming you’re prepared and/or desiring to find an attainable, sustainable level of productivity as a mama, please forgive me.  I know you’re a busy woman and I don’t mean to be pushy.  I’m simply excited that you’re here! No matter where you find yourself on the equipped/desire scale, I hope you’ll reference Part I of this series and join us back here for Part II: The Planning Phase.

No matter how you slice it, in order to be productive in any area of your life, you must be prepared.  That’s why I shared my must-have tools last week and I’d surely be lost without preparing to plan in order to be productive.  See how it builds on itself?? I certainly find it encouraging to know that I’m nurturing productive habits in an effort to be more productive.  It’s a beautifully un-vicious vicious cycle.

Because this cycle can keep growing and building and potential become complicated, I’ve broken down my 5 key steps to planning for a productive week.  The idea is that you do ALL of your planning in one day so as to create some margin in your week for other things.  I like to plan my week on Sunday, but you may decide Saturday work better for you.  Whatever you decide, planning can be super easy if you just commit to it.  So, let’s get right to it!2

  1. Plan your meals! This is a task with which I have such a love-hate relationship.  It can be daunting to try and figure out what the whole family will eat for the whole week, taking into consideration duplicate ingredients, weekly sale items, etc.  But, it doesn’t have to be! Last week, I shared this fun meal planning notepad. It helps me to write everything down on a good ol’ piece of paper and get a bird’s eye view of the week.  You can also try the FREE Skinny Mom Supper Club.  Just by signing up on their website, you get recipes and shopping lists for the WHOLE month, EVERY month!
  2. Getting all your shopping done on Sunday! This step goes hand-in-hand with meal planning.  It’s no fun, but it will make for a much simpler, stress-free week.  So, grab the meal plan you made and figure out what ingredients you have on hand and what you need to purchase.  Spend the extra time on the front end breaking your lists into departments.  This will help for an efficient time making your way through the grocery store.  And, my favorite tip of all: load your groceries onto the belt in the order you’d like them bagged.  Put all of your like items together so your unpacking process at home is a breeze!
  3. Schedule your workouts! There are categories of life that just HAVE to happen.  We have to feed the baby, so we have to make ends meet, so we have to work.  There is no room for “doing it later”, so why do we often settle for later when it comes to our health? This is a toughie, because it requires effort, and can often be seen as eating into our free time.  But simply put, you just have to MAKE time for exercise and commit to it.  You will have more energy for the remaining items on your t0-do list once you’ve put it some time at the gym, or walking around the block, or running the stadium stairs at the local high school.  It doesn’t matter how you decide to move, it just matters that you do it. Write it down. Make it a must.  Feel worlds better!
  4. Choose your outfits! Whether you spend your days in a boardroom or a playroom, it’s so helpful to have your outfits chosen for the entire week by Sunday night.   I have been known to waste a good 10-15 minutes in the morning trying to figure out what to wear.  It’s a terrible waste of time and something that is so easily avoided.  So, check the weekly forecast, pick out your clothes, iron them, choose accessories, and hang each outfit on it’s own hanger.  This is a great way to save some precious morning moments each day!
  5. Schedule “Me” Time! Every busy mama knows that stealing a few moments alone can be like hitting a reset button.  So, really set aside at least one full hour each week for yourself.  It can be just a few minutes each day to call your BFF on the other side of the country or an hour-long massage.  Whatever you choose, commit this time to recharge and reap the benefits of that extra energy for the rest of the week!

I would love to hear some other secrets to setting yourself up for a productive week!

 

Nourish and Be Nourished::

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Mama’s Productivity Guide: Part I-Supplies::

I have only been at this parenting thing for a little over 9 months, but my Type A personality has managed to cram a whole lot of systems, processes, and “Standard Operating Procedures” into that time span. Moms have the toughest job out there and only fellow moms can truly understand that.  In my relatively short time as a mama, I have been a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, and a work-from-home mom, and I know that there are in’s and out’s of each that are glorious and challenging.

I also know that each of those challenges, although unique in personals situations, can be eased with a few key productivity methods that I’d love to share with you! These are all tried and true, and have been tested with much trial and error.  I’ve broken them down into a multi-part series for ease of absorption and implementation and hope to help my fellow mama’s get a little extra time to snuggle their little ones, or in some cases, simply take a shower. :) part1-supplies

 

Part I of the Productivity Series is: Supplies.  Before you can even being to get a handle on the never-ending to-do list that comes with the territory of being a mom, you have to arm yourself with the tools to succeed.  This planning/organization phase may just be my favorite part of being productive.  It is so important to build yourself a strong foundation and, thankfully, you just need few easy-to-procure tools to be as prepared as a Boy Scout building a fire.

Take a look at the image above.  These are my 6 MUST-HAVE supplies for a productive hour/week/day/month.  Having a generally productive life starts with having a productive day, which can’t happen without having a productive couple of hours blocked off in your schedule.  Productivity builds on itself, as will this series.

So today, I’m keeping it simple.  I’ll reference these must-haves as we move through the specifics of being productive, so here’s a quick overview.

My 6 Must-Have Productivity Supplies::

  1. A great day planner.  Get yourself a planner that you love.  Decide if you want spiral- or perfect-bound.  Lines or no-lines.  Tabs, pockets, stickers? The world is your planning oyster.  Find a day planner that you can write copious notes in and have at it. [Personal preference: forego digital apps.  Technology is awesome, but when it comes to be motivated to get stuff done, nothing beats a hand-written list!] My 2015 pick is the great Kate Spade gold polka dot planner. Too cute, right!?
  2. A great clip board.  This is one of my favorite tools for being productive as it serves a simple, important purpose.  As your to-do’s pile up throughout the week, you will certainly be thrown curve balls, which is where your clipboard comes in.  Do your best to collect all the curve balls and clip them where you can see them.  I do this with bills that need to be paid, grocery lists that need to me made, etc. The clipboard helps me prioritize as the must-do items make their way to it each day.
  3. A great water bottle.  This one is SO easy. Proper hydration is the easiest way to improve your health and thereby, increasing your energy.  Every mama needs energy, so you MUST get hydrated! Not sure how much you should be drinking? Diving your weight, in pounds, by 2.  Whatever that numbers amounts to is the number of ounces you should be drinking each day.  For example if you weigh 150lbs/2=75oz per day.  Get yourself a glass or stainless steel water bottle (they’re easier to clean, don’t get as gunky, and won’t leech chemicals into your water!) and drink up!
  4. A great set of multi-colored pens.  Once you start really planing your days out by the hour, you’ll want to be color-coordinated.  Not only will this make your daily agenda look really fun, but it will help you mentally compartmentalize what you need to get done! I’m obsessed with Paper Mate‘s felt pens.
  5. A great snack.  This one goes hand-in-hand with proper hydration.  I am a HUGE fan of snacking, but I often allow busyness to get in the way of eating mindfully.  Sometimes I flat-out forget to eat and find myself starving and willing to eat pretty much anything. This is a surefire way to throw your whole day off and feel sluggish.  So, find a snack that you love and have it readily available in convenient portions.  My personal favorite: raw almonds.  They’re delicious and full of protein which will help curb your appetite!
  6. A great meal planning list.  You don’t have to purchase a notepad specifically for meal planning, but I highly recommend it! Meal planning is easily the biggest time and money saver in our household, so I love having a no-brainer planning tool to help.  More on the specifics of meal planning in a future post.

So, there you have it: my must-have productivity supplies! As mentioned, we’ll get into some of the ways these tools can help you be productive in your every day life.  It’s not at hard, or draining, as it may seem.  So, take some time to get your supplies in order so 2015 can be your most productive year ever, mama!

 

Nourish and Be Nourished::

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Quickie Weekend Workout::

I get that there are brunches to be had, but what do you say, we all start our Saturday with a quickie weekend workout? The work week may be over, but your workout should stick around! It is so easy to start slacking the minute you leave work on Friday/turn off that alarm that has rudely awoken you each day/put the kids to bed and pour that big glass of red wine.

But, we’re in this healthy lifestyle thing for the long haul, right? Right!

So, let’s combat the slack with a 10-minute, super efficient interval circuit.  I promise you won’t regret it and the croissants and mimosas will taste much better after you’ve burned some serious calories!

Quickie Weekend Workout-2

This is a hard-hitting HIIT circuit that should be done in a Tabata format.

Sound confusing? You can download a FULL explanation of all of the exercises here, but let me break the timing down for you a little more!

You have 4 exercises that should be repeated with the following timing until you’ve reach 2 minutes for each.

EXERCISE 1-Burpees::
:20seconds MAX effort
:10seconds REST
Repeat 4x for a total of 2 minutes

EXERCISE 2-Split Lunge Jumps::
:20seconds MAX effort
:10seconds REST
Repeat 4x for a total of 2 minutes

EXERCISE 3-Mountain Climbers::
:20seconds MAX effort
:10seconds REST
Repeat 4x for a total of 2 minutes

EXERCISE 4-Triple Pulse Squat Jumps::
:20seconds MAX effort
:10seconds REST
Repeat 4x for a total of 2 minutes

RUN::
:20second SPRINT
:10second Walk
Repeat 4x for a total of 2 minutes

Repeat ENTIRE circuit if desired and be sure to start with a dynamic warm up and cool down with a good stretch afterward. Please keep in mind that this is YOUR workout.  Go at your own pace, listen to your body, and be mindful of any limitation you may have.  The best workout is one that connects you with your body.  So, be sure to check in with it!

Cheers to the weekend!

Nourish and Be Nourished::

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Love Endures::

His Love-2

This morning, being New Year’s Eve, I found myself reflecting on all of 2014 and the countless lessons I’ve learned.  I had Piper standing in my lap looking out the window as I drank my morning coffee.  I looked at her chubby cheeks, rosy from teething induced drool.  I took in the tiny hairs on her head that are just now growing past her ears, stick straight just like her mama’s.  I watched her bounce up and down waving at nothing out the window but the outdoors itself, an appreciation for which she’s already picked up from her dada.

And, as I contemplated the sweet disposition that is truly unique to her, I found myself overcome with awe; in awe of her actual existence, her creation, the perfection that she encompasses as a tiny human.  I found myself overcome with gratitude; grateful for her actual existence, her creation, the perfection that she compasses as a tiny human.  And, I found myself overcome with humility; humbled by the grace God has poured out on me as her mama.  Above all else, I found myself overcome with love; a love so deep that I couldn’t comprehend an ounce of it prior to Piper’s first breath.

From the moment she entered this world, lungs firing on all cylinders and limbs shooting out like a starfish, I’ve been given miraculous glimpses into God’s love for His children.  Having simply played small a part in God’s blessing of bringing Piper into existence, I am now able to understand a tiny speck of how wide, how long, how high, and how deep the love the Lord is for us.

As much as I desire to protect Piper’s innocence and shield her from the evil of this world, God’s protection of all humanity, through Jesus, is perfect.  More intense than my love for Piper is God’s all-enduring, never-changing, unconditional love for us.  Just as there is nothing Piper can do (come toddler tantrum, teenage rebellion, hell, or high water) to separate her from my love, so it is with God and us, His children.

His love endures. His love endures.  His love endures.

That is my big lesson for 2104.  It is one that was taught to me when I met a little baby girl and one that I will carry with me from now into eternity.

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His love endures.  His love endures.  His love endures.

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

13 to him who divided the Red Sea[a] asunder
His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.

17 to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.

23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

 

May God bless you in the New Year and all the days of your life.
Nourish and Be Nourished::