My Keto Journey Starting Out

2017 was a hard year for me! It beat me up and I struggled with depression as I tried to overcome the obstacles that came in my way. After Christmas I reached an all-time low and came to the conclusion that things needed to change.

For those who have read previous posts, you know I’ve had a miscarriage and it is devastating, I have had more since then and it has been difficult to deal with. For the most part that’s why I haven’t been as active on social media or in my real life for that matter. I have holed myself up in my house and eaten my feelings.

After Christmas I started to research new ways of eating because for me I have been unhealthy and eating poorly. Since I have three girls I can’t afford to eat myself to death, and that’s what I felt like I was doing. I bought books on the ketogenic diet after hearing so many great things about it. I prepared my mind and my kitchen for some major changes.

On New Years Eve I knew I couldn’t wait until the next day to make a change, because there is always another tomorrow to start but I needed to change today. I went into the New Year at my heaviest weight ever (230) and I was determined to never be that weight again.

I eased into this new WOE (way of eating) but just cutting out grains and sugars. I was sure it was going to be a struggle, but I found the whole process freeing. It didn’t take long for me to start reaching my macros and get into ketosis.

Not even a month in and I am down to 213 and I have lost over 7 inches over all. I was telling my husband last night that this is the easiest thing I have ever done to lose weight and I feel so amazing each and every day.

I have a long way to go and I know that not having those crazy cravings right from the start is a huge blessing (its not this easy for many people). But I have never felt so full and not wanted to munch on everything in the house all day. I have had a blast exploring new recipes and finding healthier snacks for my girls.

I plan on updating about once a month with my progress to share with everyone because I find it encouraging to see other people doing well and hope that my story can help to inspire others wanting to make a change too!

The first picture is Christmas Day and the second is Jan 14th and I can already see the puffiness going down in my face!IMG_7672

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Chocolate Chip Coconut Fat Bombs

I have been eating a keto diet (more like way of life) since New Years Eve. After another miscarriage I knew things had to change and the only one who was going to make the changes was me. I am currently down 17 pounds and 6.5 inches overall! I am loving the way I feel and look lately.

I spend a lot of time googling and looking on pinterest for recipes that I would like and I love trying new things. Today my searches failed me because I really wanted to make some chocolate chip coconut fat bombs (I love my fat bombs!) and couldn’t find anything. I decided to modify the fat bombs I already make to get just what I wanted and I want to share in case anyone else wants to try!

Here is the recipe!

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  • 6 T Butter, softened
  • 6 oz softened Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 c monk fruit sweetener
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ c Almond Butter
  • ¼ c Lindt Excellence 85% cocoa
  • 1/2 c dried shaved coconut flakes

 

In a blender I mix everything except the coconut and chocolate and blend until smooth. Then I break the chocolate up into small chunks and add that with the coconut. When it’s all blended together I take a small ice cream scoop and make uniform balls on a cooking sheet and parchment paper. I put them in the fridge to set for about half an hour then I move them to the freezer to harden. When they’re hardened I put them in a ziplock bag and enjoy them whenever I am in the mood for something sweet!

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If you try this and enjoy leave me a comment and let me know!

2 net carbs – 2 grams protein – 11g fat

 

Chilled Chai Tea Smoothie

IMG_7236So I love Chai Tea. I love love almost all tea, which is good since I hate coffee and I have kids haha.

Since going keto I haven’t found a good recipe that tastes like what I love so I decided to play around with the keto approved ingredients I know about and make my own smoothie.

This turned out much better than I expected and its perfect for a hot day in Florida. (Not that I see any of those in the near future…) Since I loved it so much I decided it would be worth sharing in case anyone else wanted to give it a try!

Chilled Chai Tea Smoothie

1 cup chilled black tea
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp monk fruit sweetener
1 tbsp MCT oil (optional)

Just place all ingredients into a blender and blend until well mixed. The longer you blend the thicker it will get because of the heavy cream. I made mine a little thicker but then added some ice cubes to chill it even more.

I hope you enjoy and if you do try it out leave me a comment below and let me know how you liked it!

A Fresh Start

2017 was hard for me. It was emotionally taxing and I struggled with things I never thought I’d have to face again. The start of the new year brought new challenges that I had to face and as we head into the first weekend of the new year I am ready to step into a fresh start.

Since just before the new year I have been eating keto. I am surprised at how easy the transition has been for me. I haven’t gone fully keto yet, I’m taking baby steps into this healthier eating and I’m bringing my kids along for the ride. So far they love everything!

There are so many exciting things to look forward to this year. My SIL is due with her baby any day and my other SIL is coming to visit this month too. I am excited to get my house looking pretty, and hopefully get on track with keeping it clean all the time. I love that my girls are learning to take care of their things and be kind to each other.

I know I’m not the only one who had a rough year last year. Lots of people are looking forward to the fresh start a new year brings. The thing is, it won’t be any different than the year before unless we make it different. Things will always stay the same if we only keep doing the same thing.

We can’t control everything that happens but we can control our reactions. We can control the choices we make and how we take care of ourselves and treat others. This year I am taking back my health, I am taking back control of my house and I’m going to cherish my family more.

You want a better new year, then make it a better new year!

Baby Of My Heart

When I met your mommy you were already there
with your beautiful smile and curly brown hair
I gave you a flower with a rattle inside
You gave me a smile so open and wide

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I loved you from the first time we met
How lucky could one guy get?
Your mommy and me fell in love too
And all of our love we shared with you

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You grew so fast and stole my heart
I knew we could never be apart
So I asked your mommy to marry me
And now we are a family

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I had to make it all last forever
My love for you will never end, Never!
We went to court and it was done
you are my child, my first one.

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God placed you in my life to care for
And I could never ask for more
You may not have my DNA
But you have my heart each night and day

*I wrote this for my husband to give to K when we finally talked about the whole adoption process. Since then I have told my friends about telling her about the adoption and I mentioned some of the things we wrote to help her understand. I wanted to share it with everyone since I have been asked to read it by almost everyone I spoke with. A lot of my friends have reached out to me about how to discuss step-parents with their kids and this is  a cute poem that I’m sure can be helpful to explain how a stepparent could love them just like their own.*

Saying Goodbye is Hard

It has been a rough few weeks for our family. The end of summer rush and start of the school year chaos was overshadowed by a lot of family drama.

About a week before K started 2nd grade we got a call that we were dreading, Nanny was placed on hospice. Her health had been precarious for years and I think we took for granted that all those close calls would always end happily.

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We went to see her the same day that K was going to meet her 2nd grade teacher. We went and spent most of the day with her and it was bittersweet. The girls got to have some extra snuggles with her and it was good for my husband to have this time with his Nanny.

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One thing that I will never forget is when we walked in she said, “isn’t this the girl you adopted?” Asking Richie about K. She is 7 so we never had that discussion with her and I had to make a mental note to discuss everything with her later.

The rest of the visit was a bit like a rollercoaster. There were such sweet moments where we’d talk about happy memories and then there were the devastating ones where she started giving the girls toys and jewelry to remember her and discussing her funeral arrangements.

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When we went home we had that talk with K, a blog for another day, and she met her 2nd grade teacher. Life went back to semi-normal but K knew something was up with nanny and was sad that she was sick.

A week later we went back up to see everyone. We had another family member celebrating their 103rd birthday! There was a dance party and lots of fun and on the way home we decided to stop and see nanny before heading home.

It was late, the kids were tired and cranky and Richie felt bad about wanting to go because of the time. After discussing it we knew we had to go and see her. If we didn’t go and something happened I knew he would regret it and I didn’t want that.

So we went.

It was such a great visit. Nanny was obviously tired, but in good spirits. K got to snuggle a lot. She knew this time when we went that her time with Nanny was precious and she just laid next to her, not wanting to leave.

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M was better this time around too, she gave a hug when we went to leave, which for M is a big deal. L played with Papa most of the time, still too young to understand what was going on.

Richie promised Nanny he’d come see her the next week, I kissed her cheek and told her I loved her and then I corralled the girls out of the house so Richie could say goodbye without the craziness.

It was the next day that we go the phone call. K and I wept and Richie was his stoic self – staying strong for us.

The next few days passed in a blur. I had to get the girls things for the funeral and Richie was a pallbearer so we needed to find a suit for him. He had to make arrangements at work and since it was only the 2nd week of school I had to talk to K’s teacher.

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Still, despite feeling like I was running through mud trying to get everything done, the day came for us to head to Jacksonville for the viewing and funeral. K was the only girl that understood and she cried any time she thought of nanny so we found her the blanket nanny crocheted her and told her her snuggle it. I told her that anytime she missed nanny to just wrap it around her and it would be like nanny was giving her a big hug.

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The girls did pretty good for the funeral. I took the two younger ones out so Richie and K could sit for the service. Afterwards we had to drive to the cemetery.

The drive to the cemetery was the worst part for me. All of a sudden M realized she couldn’t see nanny again. She kept saying she wanted to go to heaven and she wanted to party with nanny. How do you explain to a 3 year old what heaven really is?!

Then the drive home M kept asking to buy wings for our van so we could fly to heaven to see Nanny. I was strong until then, hearing her innocent cries to see her nanny again broke me.

Since then I’ve been in a funk. I’ve been struggling to get back into the swing of things for my page and my family.

Nanny was such a special person to me and to K. When Richie and I first got together she welcomed us into the family with open arms. she loved K so much, despite the fact everyone told me she didn’t like babies. I have such precious memories that I will cherish forever and I’m glad that I have them to tell to K when she is older too.

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Saying goodbye is hard, but never so hard as when you’re watching your child’s heart break from saying goodbye as well.

Making Things

I have been distracted and busy lately.

I find that I get swept up in the moment and forget about social media. It’s hard when you’re trying to run a business page or keep up with a blog but at the end of the day my kids will remember the time I spent with them not my online presence.

We have been enjoying the end of our summer break and its bitter sweet. We’re trying to cram all the fun we can into such a short time. I have tried to convince K we should try homeschooling but she loves her school so much and I love it too.

The girls and I have been doing lots of extra crafting. We all made potholders. It was the first time M used the sewing machine with me and K did it ALL by herself!

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I’ve also been working on making clothing for the girls and I’m super proud of the latest dresses I made for them!

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We’ve run errands with my mom to try and help with her home renovations. No matter what we do with my mom the girls have a blast since they adore her.

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And since we live in Florida we’ve been experiencing our afternoon rainstorms again recently. With the girls having a TON of energy they haven’t been able to run off outside we had to adapt.

So I made the girls some superhero capes and let them act crazy in the living room. They pretended they could fly as they jumped into blanket piles on the floor, thankfully none of them got hurt!

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And then of course it was time to get some stuff done for the new school year so I whipped up some pencil cases for K to use at school.

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On top of all of that we tried our hand at cake decorating and made some cookies to bring to the neighbors.

There is something really special about connecting with the people close to you and teaching your children not to take them for granted. Unfortunately we made cookies for a diabetic so we’re clearly not perfect yet and will need to have a redo for her.

As you can see, we’ve been super busy but we’ve also had a ton of fun. I am loving every second of being these little girl’s mom. I love to teach them new things and then watch their eyes light up when they finally get it!

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When they school year starts up again my days will be more structured and maybe I will be too, no promises. But I will be sure to come and do updates since I’m absent from Facebook for the most part these days.

Thanks for checking up on us, and if you want me to try and make something new let me know because I’m having a blast playing around with my AMAZING new sewing machine!

Summer Fun

Summer is such a magical time of year. There is new wonder in every day and as a kid the days seem to last forever.

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My husband and I love to take our girls on fun adventures. We love to watch the excitement in their eyes as they experience new things. So taking the three girls canoeing for the first time was awesome!

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When K was younger we took her kayaking a few times in the springs but we feel like a canoe is much safer with kids. When my husband’s friend offered to lend us him we were thrilled.

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For the first time in forever I went canoeing!

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We went to one of our favorite springs and we took the canoe out.

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The girls had a blast gliding through the crystal clear water and looking for wildlife. We saw turtles and fish and lots of pretty birds. We also saw two alligators.

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There is something so special about showing your kids the hidden beauty in everything around them. We are so lucky to live in a place where we have so many amazing places to go and explore!

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The girls loved splashing in the cool water after we got back to dock the canoe and we had an absolutely amazing day together.

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These are the things that the girls will remember when they get older. They won’t remember if we didn’t get them the most toys but they will remember all that we did together!

Big Girl Birthday Bash

I cannot believe that my oldest just turned 7! SEVEN! How crazy is that?!

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I’ve noticed that people don’t really tend to RSVP anymore, and even when they do that doesn’t mean so much. I have actually avoided the whole birthday scene since her disastrous 5th birthday party where only ONE person showed up.

Having a summer birthday means that its harder to get people together, I understand, it’s just hard to understand when you’re little and just want to hang out with your friends. Since my party’s don’t tend to work out I’ve leaned more towards family days and those have been great.

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I tried to insist on a family day this year but after two years with the same friends in school all K wanted was a birthday with her friends. I thought if I did the birthday a month ahead of time it might work out and people might show up but our budget got in the way of that and we were once again doing her birthday a solid month after school was out for the summer.

I rented an amazing water slide from Flagler Bounce and I was sure that people would come because seriously, who doesn’t want to play on a water slide?!

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For a week we prepped everything. I cleaned my house spotless (or as spotless as I can get it with three kids actively destroying it behind me) and we prepped everything.

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My sister baked and decorated an amazing cake and we were set.

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There were still few, if any RSVP’s but I was told that family would come and so I wasn’t worried too much about people being there.

The day before the party M stuck her head into the fridge and took a bite out of the top layer of the cake that my sister and her husband spent hours making… not a good start to the festivities…

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The morning of the party the waterslide was dropped off early and my girls were so excited. Any prep I had left to do now needed to be juggled with watching my girls play in the water.

Yes, I’m that over protective mom who won’t let her kids play without supervision. Since they’re 7, 3 and 1 I don’t feel bad about my protectiveness.

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Finally the time of the party came and it was only my family there. K and the others didn’t care because they were playing on the slide. In the end one old friend of K’s came and 2 friends from school.

It wasn’t the huge blowout parties you see all over the place, apparently I don’t throw that kind, but my kids had an absolute blast! The neighbor’s came over and stayed until the waterslide got shut down.

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My parties may not have huge turn outs and maybe I’m not the best planner in the world but as long as my kids have a great time and love their birthday that’s really all that matters!

Adventures In Potty Training

As most of you have read in my previous post I LOVE cloth diapering! I love pretty much everything about cloth diapering and because of that I was in no rush to potty train L. Since I’m not currently pregnant, I didn’t want to pack away my pretty fluff.

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Just being real for a second, potty training is work. Now, it’s not always hard, sometimes it’s actually pretty easy but when you’re in the middle of a quick trip to the store and your kid has to go NOW it becomes a bit tiresome. I love the idea of being done with diapers until God blesses me with another little miracle but when you’re talking to a friend and have to stop mid-sentence to rush to the bathroom its a bit exhausting.

When I’m out I have a fold up potty seat so its not a problem as much as trying to make sure I can get her to the bathroom on time. Also she likes to go multiple times in a row so I have to be able to run back and forth.

With K potty training was easy. I introduced her to the toilet early and she caught on fairly quick. I didn’t use any specific method, I just went with what I felt was right at the time. For her it was right.

With M I did the same thing. It was not right for her. It did not work!

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M was such a struggle, the idea of potty training L was a daunting one. I didn’t want to deal with accidents and the grossness that I had to deal with before. M was terrible, it is actually very recently that she has stopped having accidents.

L has been ready for a long time. She has been pooping on the potty since she was a little more than a year old and from there we’d just put her on every now and then. The absolute biggest thing about potty training, in my opinion, is not having the kids afraid of the toilet!

As the school year came to an end and summer was starting I knew it was time to bite the bullet and get L all the way potty trained. It wasn’t that I had a certain age that I needed it done by, I just knew that she was ready and I was stalling for my own sake not hers.

This time I was prepared. I got a little kid potty seat, a seat for the toilet (which I recommend above the separate potty seat) and the book, Potty Training in 3 Days! I was ready!

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I read the book like 3 times before I decided that it was the right day to begin. I followed the book to a T and just like that I found myself with a potty trained little girl. She doesn’t wet the bed at night and she doesn’t have accidents during the day.

My 21 month old little girl is 100% potty trained!

I don’t know if that method works for all kids. I do know that it worked for mine! I am so excited to head into summer without the diaper bag and tons of things I need to pack just for a quick trip to the beach!

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If your kid is ready to start potty training I would suggest taking a look at the book above because while I absolutely can’t wait until I have another baby I am super stoked that for this time in my life our house is diaper free!