Thursday, March 31, 2016

Five Minutes to Fabulous: My Super Quick, No-Sew Curtain Update

Projects, projects everywhere! Thankfully most of them are small decor changes and not full on weekend warrior remodels. Especially since the weather is turning nice and we spend most of our time outside (a big change from our old yard-less house). My older boy's room was the focus for todays quick update. 

The house came with most of the window treatments so I can slowly change or relocate the materials to match our furniture and styles. This room came with cellular blinds and curtain rods. The blinds are cordless and I love them, except they are not light blocking and it's hard to convince your kids to go to bed in the summer when there is still light streaming through the window! 

The star of this update is the clip curtain ring. You can easily find these at your local retailer. I relocated these from the living room curtains (that are currently being transformed into Roman Shades) to use upstairs with the twin flat sheets I found at Goodwill for $2.

These clips not only allow you to use whatever fabric to choose but they slide open effortlessly taking a lot of strain off the curtain rod. Picture 6 year old boy attempting to pull open traditional pocket curtain... resulting in the rod being torn from the sheetrock.... needless to say, effortless opening is a huge bonus! 

All I had to do was iron out the sheets (by far the most time consuming step of this update). Then I clipped them up, no sewing required. I just folded down the top edge to hang them the correct hight. So simple!

The second window is smaller so I decided to go head and fold the sheet completely in half and keep the floor free from the extra material. So the boys don't have to fight with it while they play. Plus extra light blocking!

That's it. Iron and hang. Plus its so easy to change and the options are endless! I love it!

Until next time,

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Build Your Own Nachos: Gluten Free with Dairy Free Options {THM S, E or Crossover}

With a family of six, it is often difficult to make a meal that everyone can enjoy without complaint. Which is why Nacho Night is one of our family favorites.

Build Your Own Nachos empowers everyone to get what they want without any extra work on my part. It is also flexible with what you have on hand in the fridge or whatever produce maybe on sale at the store, making it a win for the budget as well as the tastebuds.

Build Your Own Nachos:
Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
1 lb of Ground Meat of Choice
Sweet Bell Peppers
Mexican Style Shredded Cheese (Or Hello Cheese pg 487 THM Cookbook for Dairy Free)
Plain Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream

Everyone gathers around the table and builds their own plate as they please, dairy free for me, mild salsa for the kids, spicy options for my husband. It's the perfect dinner to accommodate all of our different tastes and dietary needs. 

Notes for Trim Healthy Mamas:
For an {S} Meal, skip the chips and add more peppers for a nice crunch
For {E} Use Baked Blue Corn Chips, skip the cheese (or use Hello Cheese) and guacamole and add fat free refried black beans for creaminess

Simple, Tasty, Kid Friendly, No Special Ingredients... It truly is food freedom!

Until Next Time,


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Birch Tree Shelves: A Quick, Fabulous & Free Up-Cycle

Birch Tree Shelves: A Quick & Fabulous Up-Cycle

Spring is coming! And I have been busy with several fun new house projects and spending time outside in the beautiful sunshine. I am currently in the middle of constructing a roman shade from a curtain panel... but I am taking a break to share my current favorite DIY project: Birch Tree Shelves!

We had a beautiful Birch tree in the front yard, unfortunately like several of the trees in our yard it wasn't alive anymore!

Before it headed to the burn pile I sorted through and found some pieces that hadn't been affected by whatever disease that caused it's early demise.

I cut them to size using a handheld limb saw and sealed them with Mod Podge. A spray sealer would make this step go even quicker but I was going with what I had on hand to keep this a completely free DIY project. Plus I got to use a couple super cute helpers!

After they dried I tied two branches together with some twine I had in my craft stash and mounted them to the wall with the L brackets I removed from the valances I took down from the previous owners. (Sorry for no pictures of this step, it went so fast I forgot to take them!)

But Here is the finished project. I love the way it looks in the room, they are the perfect size to hold our photo books and the best part: Completely FREE!

So now back to those window treatments... hopefully next week I will be able to post about them!

Until Next Time,


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Baby Poo On The Carpet... Moments That Will Not Be Missed

Baby Poo On The Carpet… Moments That Will Not Be Missed

It was 5:00am when I heard the sound of our youngest two boys thumping down the hall, creating more noise than herd of wild horses. They climbed their way into our bed and took their place on either side of me. As I lay awake sandwiched in between their warm bodies, listening to the even breathing and intense thumb sucking, I began to think about how much I would miss these early morning snuggles. Even though at the moment I really just wanted to go back to sleep (or tie that thumb behind his back)… I pondered over the week I have had so far… it’s been onerous already and it’s only half over…

The baby, who is not so much a baby anymore, started the week off by removing his dirty diaper. In the process he stepped in it and then proceeded to walk all around his room. One of the few places in the house that is not solid surface flooring. Baby poo on the carpet is not one of the things I will miss when my children are grown. To his credit, he was attempting to clean it up with a wet wipe and some toilet paper he stole from the bathroom… yes, it is clearly time to potty train, however that is also on my list of things I don’t think I will be missing when the house is empty and quiet. But that eager desire to learn something new and the look of concentration on his chubby little face… that I will miss. 

The following day, during a trip to Walmart, my three year old decided to disappear. Knowing he bolted off on purpose was a little more comforting than just having lost him, but also more infuriating. After calling out and searching the nearest aisles I quickly alerted an employee to call a Code Adam so he wouldn’t be allowed to leave the store, knowing he may be so bold as to do so. He had made it all the way to the other side of the store and was on his way back before I caught him. I was worried and furious at the same time. Needless to say I won’t ever miss that feeling. But later that evening when we talked about how dangerous it is to run away like that, when he looked up at me and apologized with sincerity in his big blue eyes and that thumb, perpetually in his mouth. That face I will miss. 

I know I will miss the loud laughter and stomping feet as they chase each other through the house. I will long for the chubby hands wrapped around my neck and the sweet kisses in the early mornings. I will miss singing them to sleep and watching their eyes slowing grow heavy. I know because I already miss it with my oldest two, who independently hop into bed and seldom ask for “songs and prayers”. I already miss the tiny baby moments, the first discoveries, and especially the way they look at you, like you are the most valuable person in the entire world. 

But now we are moving on to new adventures and new firsts. I want to remember these times when I feel like I am weary and on my last nerve… I want to remember the things I know I will miss when they are only memories and no longer apart of my daily routine. 

The Bible places a lot of value on Remembrance, because is does wonders for perspective and thanksgiving. Psalm 103 calls us to praise the Lord for the things he has done, and “forget not, all his benefits” In praise and thanksgiving I will remember these little moments with my children. For the protection of the Lord over my stubborn three year old, for the poo on the short pile carpet and not the white sheepskin rug. I want to hold on to these moments and live fully in them and not let frustration and exhaustion cloud my perspective.

We will never have these moments again, the children they are now, this chubby sweet snuggly baby version, will be gone and a new child will emerge, one just a beautiful but one ever changing and growing. Because life is short, and childhood even shorter.

Until next time, live fully in the moment and forget not all His benefits.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

730 Days of Food Freedom: My Two Year Trim Healthy Mama Update

(This post contains Affiliate Links... no additional cost to you... a few extra pennies for me. Thanks for helping support this blog!)

Two Years! 730 Days of choosing health and enjoying my food freedom. I can honestly say there are zero regrets! I have kept off all 65 pounds and maintained my goal weight over the past year with little changes to my daily routine... in case you missed my original Trim Healthy Mama testimonies, you can read them here and here.

Never heard of Trim Healthy Mama? A very basic description would be a low glycemic lifestyle. Removing added sugars and bad starches and creating a customizable diet that meets you right where you are. Learn more at their website... you won't regret it. I promise.

Same jeans as 2015!
Over the past few months I have had to adjust my diet to remove dairy and gluten in attempts to gain better control over my skin health (I will share more of that journey later). If it wasn't for THM, I don't know that I would have been able to successfully manage such a big change in my diet. The new cookbook is full of dairy free options and I don't have to feel like I am missing out on anything.  There are so many options for each individual, because it's real food. No special labels, no counting calories; just good food and the knowledge you need to take control of your health.

No, Trim Healthy Mama isn't a miracle to solve all your problems, it's a tool to help you achieve your health goals. A very effect, easy to use, tool... that encourages foods like Chocolate and Bacon (seriously... who doesn't love bacon!)

I am so grateful to have been introduced to this lifestyle. I can live my daily life without the stress of being overweight or the constant struggle to "watch" what I eat. I walk in freedom knowing that I am making the best choices for my health and enjoying every meal!

If you are new to Trim Healthy Mama or would like to know more about it, feel free to contact me. I love helping people gain the knowledge they need to achieve their goals.

Until Next Time,