Healthy body, healthy spirit, healthy mothering. This is the journey I have set out on with my two amazing children.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Too many books? NEVER!

"She is too fond of books and it has addled her brain."
-Louisa May Alcott

That is my all-time favorite quote ever!  For so many reasons.  The main one being that I love, love, love books.  Yes I do want to get an e-reader of some sort someday but I still love my books.  I love the feel of them in my hands, the smell of them and mostly their ability to carry me away from the dreariness, anger, frustration, chaos that is my life.  :)

That being said, I also happen to own a lot of books.  And I mean a LOT!  So I decided to organize my bookshelves in my basement.  The basement is my primary project lately.  I already did the desk, you can check that out here.  I recently cleared a space for the kids to each have their own school desks (although we are still working on painting them) and the books were in desperate need of some loving attention.

Who could find anything in this mess?

These were on the now empty shelves from the upper picture.  :)

First thing I did was start removing the books from the shelves.  Each shelf got a quick cleaning and then I began sorting the books into different categories.

Books the kids read.

 Harry Potter

Anybody remember these?

 Mostly "real" literature.  :)

Philosophy/Religious studies books

Once I sorted them I started putting them back on the shelves.  My romance novels took up an entire shelf all by themselves.  

Literature shelf after.

Yes I did put Harry Potter on the literature shelf.  Mainly because these are MY hard-cover versions.  The kids can have the paperbacks to themselves.  

Non-fiction books

Kids books after.

This is really only a preview of what's to come.  I am hoping to get the wallpaper removed from the remaining basement walls.  One of the walls will then be painted in chalkboard paint for the kids.  I saw a beautiful bookshelf/window seat with storage combo doohickey that I am planning on making for this room as well from some reclaimed/repurposed kitchen cabinets.  :)  Of course, that will mean I have to move the books once again.  But that's ok.  Sometimes it has to be itty bitty baby steps just to make the house presentable until it's time to tear it apart all over again.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A bowl full of lemons.: Silhouette GIVEAWAY!!!!

A bowl full of lemons.: Silhouette GIVEAWAY!!!!: "My new Silhouette SD machine finally arrived and I'm dedicating this week to my Silhouette creations. I'm also giving away a Silhouett..."

Toni has inspired yet another post for my little blog. :) She is giving away a Silhouette machine and if you don't know what that is you definitely need to head over to her blog and check it out! That little thing can do a LOT. Now, admittedly I am not the craftiest of ladies but even I could get inspired by this machine. It is just the coolest!

So head on over and check it out!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Week 8: Personal Schedule

This week's challenge from Toni over at A Bowl Full of Lemons is to organize our personal schedule.


Becky, from Organizing Made Fun, her guest blogger gave us these simple suggestions:

1) Write down or type up your weekly routine {weekdays or the whole week}. Take a picture or post it on your blog.

2) Begin sitting down each evening {or early in the morning} detailing what you'd like to accomplish for the day, but be generous with your time allotment.

3) If you have kids, put together a schedule of what they need to do during the morning or day {use pictures if you need to}.

#1 I'm happy to say that way back when Toni's challenge was the home management binder I began printing out my weekly and monthly calendars.  Because it is just the kids and I, our schedules have to match up completely.  I don't have theirs separate from mine because then I would forget something.  :)

April Monthly Calendar

I use ICal on my Mac, Mac Baby and I love it!  I can enter an event into my phone and simply upload it to my calendar.  I use different colors for different events.

Momma's School
Momma's Work
Nevaeh's Activities
Kelen's Activities
Dr's Appointments

Next Weeks Calendar

General Weekly Schedule

  • 5:30 a.m. Momma wakes up, 15 minute surge workout; get ready, put in 1 load of laundry.
  • 6:55-7:00 a.m. Wake up Kelen, kiss him goodbye and head out for school
  • 7-7:45 a.m. While I am driving to school kids get ready & call me before they walk out the door.  By now I am almost to my cadaver lab.
  • 8-3:50 p.m. I stay on campus
  • 4-6 p.m. Kids call me when they get home from school as I am driving home.  They start homework and I help them when I get home. 
  • 6-7 ish Dinnertime
  • 8:30 p.m. Neva's bedtime
  • 9 p.m. Kelen's bedtime
  • 9-11:30 p.m. Momma studies, does homework, cleans up and/or does laundry before bed.
  • 5:30 a.m.-3:50 p.m. Everything is the same except no workout.
  • 3:20 Kids go to a friends house as I stay on campus for dinner
  • 6:15-7 p.m. Momma's physics tutor.
  • 8-10:00 p.m. Physics review class
  • 10-11:30 p.m. Momma drives home, grabs a snack & does a load of laundry before bed.

  • 7-7:45 a.m. Wake up kids get them ready for school & out the door. Kel takes his viola on Tuesdays.
  • 8-12 ish Sometimes I work but usually just hang out around the house.  Do dishes, laundry, 15 minute Surge and/or study.
  • 12 p.m. head to school
  • 2-3:15 p.m. Anatomy lecture
  • 4-5:30 p.m. Homework & quick dinner
  • 6:15-7 p.m. Neva's karate
  • Bedtime same as every night :)
  • 7-7:45 a.m. Get kids up & ready for school. Kel takes his viola.  15 minute workout for me.
  • 8:30-8:45 a.m. Momma heads to school
  • 10-3:50 On campus
  • 3:20 Kids to Nana's after school
  • 4-6 ish Dinner with Nana
  • 6-10 ish Do whatever til bedtime.
  • 7:30 a.m. Momma gets up & ready for work
  • 9-4 Momma works
  • 10 ish Kids wake up & walk to Nana's.
  • 4:30 p.m. Pick kids up & we are free til Monday morning  :)
  • 10:45-11:50 a.m. Church
  • Baking, make big pot of beans and/or soup for the next week.  Glance at cookbooks and get an idea of what I'll be making for dinner thruout the upcoming week.

#2  I would love to sit down each evening and figure out what I want to accomplish the next day but quite simply my only goal is to survive each day and make it to the next one.  I wish I had the freedom in my schedule to plan certain days for certain chores but that just isn't realistic.  My focus is on earning my degree which means cleaning is not a priority.  Don't get me wrong, we aren't total pigs.  We keep the kitchen & bathrooms clean, litter boxes are changed 2x a day but I can't remember the last time I dusted or mopped (except when there's a spill).  I do glance at my schedule to make sure I have the right books for my next days' classes in my backpack.  I pack snacks & my lunch, get water bottles filled & into the fridge to chill before I head to bed.  I pull something out of the fridge to throw into the crockpot the next day.  

#3 My kids know their schedule (see above) and are very good about getting done.  They both know that it is their responsibility to have their own backpacks ready to go and by the door.  If they forget their snack they'll be hungrier for lunch, if they forget to grab their water bottles they'll have to wait until lunchtime to get a big ol' drink.  When they call me before heading to school I always ask about tooth & hair brushing, critter chores (food & water) & litter boxes.  I'd say about 65% of the time they have remembered to do their morning "chores".  :)  As they are only 8 and 11 they have PLENTY of time to work their way up to 100% don't you think?

Momma's Note: After my sister read this (while we were Skyping) she pointed out that I do in fact eat dinner pretty late.  After all, she says, my schedule says 7ish.  I want to clarify that we are EATING b/w 6-7ish not actually cooking dinner.  That happens earlier during the homework helping phase.  :)  My sister & her family eat quite late (to me) 7:30+ each night.  For some reason it has always made me a little nuts that they eat so late.  I have no idea why.  :)
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Sneaky Sneaky

Are you a sneaky mom?  Do you find creative, inspired, sneaky ways to get more veggies into your kids?

I do.  There is just no such thing as a veggie/fruit free meal in my home.

If we are doing breakfast it is primarily based around fruit.  I stopped buying boxed cereal/oatmeal almost 2 years ago and really, I do not miss it at all.  If we are feeling lazy we just grab some whole fruit and almond butter to go.  A standard breakfast is either a fruit smoothie (usually with spinach thrown in as well) or oatmeal with fruit added for sweetness.  Our fruit smoothies have at least 2 different fruits in them at all times.

  • Strawberry + banana
  • Apples + dates
  • Raspberries + blueberries
See?  We love, love, love our fruits.  Plus, I always throw in some ground flax and chia for extra vitamin B goodness.  :)

Even a quick mac 'n cheese lunch can't escape the veggie madness.  I have to add chopped or grated onion, tomatoes, peas, carrot, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms etc...In fact, I can't even remember the last time we had just plain mac 'n cheese.  

A quick sandwich?  Use mushed avocado instead of mayo.  

A salad?  At least 2 different types of leafy greens (iceberg doesn't count), grated carrot, chopped bell peppers, fresh herbs, tomatoes, sprouts, onion etc...makes it taste so much better!

Spaghetti/pasta sauce?  This is the perfect hiding place for pureed veggie goodness.  My son refuses to eat a mushroom that he can see.  But if I grind them in the food processor with the tomatoes he has no clue he is eating them.  Squash, zuchini, carrots, bell peppers, onions---all are easily grated or pureed and added to most sauces without changing the taste enough that my kids get suspicious.

Don't get me wrong.  My kids actually love to eat most veggies.  A beautifully prepared salad will not last long in our home.  There are almost never leftover veg side dishes.  But as a momma who is studying human physiology/nutrition I can't help but try to get even more whole food goodness into their little bodies.  After all, I am trying desperately to counteract the idiocy thinking in their school that cookie, candy & bagged sugar drinks are a positive reward system.  

How about you?  Do you sneak veggies/fruits into your families meals?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Birthday Eating...not so healthy

It's been a VERY busy week.  My 36th birthday and my son's 11th birthday.  Busy, busy, busy.

Actual cooking:

I have been on a cooking from scratch kick so I decided to make some oatmeal "packets" for the kids' breakfasts on school mornings.

Step 1.  Dehydrate some strawberries that were on sale.
Organic strawberries

Dehydrated organic strawberries

Step 2: I still haven't gotten to.  Turns out the kids already ate all the rolled oats I had and I haven't had time to go to the store.  :)  Hopefully this will get finished & posted next week.

I already blogged about these meals.

Eating out
We did a LOT of eating out.  The kids and I went to Olive Garden for my birthday lunch, Red Robin for Kelen's birthday dinner and we went to Sweet Tomatoes with mom to celebrate both while she was in town.

He really likes the bread sticks

Mom had to sample EVERY vegetarian soup.

My 8 year old daughter made this birthday cake for me.  :)  Chocolate with Jamaican Me Crazy frosting. SUPER sweet (of her and to eat).  

Birthday "breakfast"

Neva made this for me for my birthday breakfast.  An organic apple, some mandarin oranges and a piece of birthday cake.  :)  Do I have a great kid or what?

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Monday, March 07, 2011

Week 4: Finish the Kitchen

I am a bit behind.  That's not really anything new though.  :)

I did some serious cleaning and reorganizing in my kitchen yesterday.

First thing I noticed was how disgusting the outside of my crock pot was.

gross gross gross

Thankfully a little bit of baking soda and a quick scrubbing and it looks almost as good as new.

I found this container at the thrift store for only a buck.  :)  

Raw, organic almonds.  Yum!

My plan is to paint this or decoupage it.  I just don't like the plain brown look.

Next thing I noticed was how filthy the stove top was.

This definitely calls for baking soda.

I think it was boiled over from pinto beans.

Much better


My daughter recently broke the lid to my flour crock so I transfered my cooking utensils.  I think it's a great way to repurpose this and it looks pretty good.

I still want to reorganize my snack cupboard but I just haven't found the time.  I will get to it though.  :)


Friday, March 04, 2011


This is an explicit post.  I am pissed off and every other word running through my head starts with fu- ends with k.  Occasionally I add an -er to the end just to mix it up a bit.  I am not actually speaking out loud because I am afraid I will drop one of these f-bombs when someone says 'hello'.  .

I ran 1000+ miles with my 19 month old son while two months pregnant with my 2nd child in order to get away from the man that wanted to kill me.  I survived and moved on with my life.

I got my kids through their fathers drunk-driving death and that was not easy.  We survived and moved on.

I cannot believe that I have busted my ass to get where I am and I am going to be stopped dead in my tracks by a freaking physics course.  I am trying desperately to get my college degree and I can't get through this god-blessed course.  Lectures are useless, the tenured professor doesn't know how to teach to an introductory non-physics major level.  I still go to class.  I attend a 2 hour review run by a different professor which I thought was helping.  I claw my way through the homework both written and online.  Then I go to take an exam and the damn professor puts three questions on topics that we have never learned.  There hasn't been a single homework or lab question about these topics but there they were.  On my effing exam.  Thats an automatic 16 points off the top.  Which means even if I aced the rest of the test (I didn't) I couldn't get higher than an 86%.

I did not even get close to this.

I failed.


And I don't know what to do about it.

So, here is Cee Lo Green singing today's anthem.  Thats how I feel.  This is the uncensored version so don't click on it if you will be offended.

F*ck You

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Cooking with kids: Sunday brunch

We made a big ol' brunch together today.  I started it but the kids quickly wanted to help.

Kelen asked if he could learn how to cut the potatoes.

I showed him how to curl his fingers under and use them as a guide for the knife.

He practiced making even sizes.

Always clean the knife and put it away as soon as you are done with it.  

I love the bright orange of organic eggs.

 Nevaeh's turn: Add a pinch of salt.

Fresh ground pepper is the best!

She remembered to tip the bowl and whisk quickly to add air to the eggs.

Hot stove

Stir the eggs

Kelen cut some velveeta we had leftover from nacho night.

Breakfast burritos ready to eat


I love that I can teach my kids some very valuable life skills (cooking, cleaning, organizing) and they don't even realize that is what is happening.  At ages 10 and 8 my kids can already make more meals than several adults I know.  This makes a Momma proud.  :)
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