recipe: peppered steak

Back again with another healthy recipe out of the Wheat Belly Cookbook. This was delicious and pretty easy to make but I think I will double the recipe next time. The cookbook recommends a side of green beans or asparagus.

Peppered Steak
from Wheat Belly Cookbook

2 beef round sirloin tip center steaks, 1'' thick (I used beef tips instead)
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
1/4 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons parsley

instructions (using the beef tips):
Press the pepper and salt evenly onto the steaks.

In a large skillet over medium heal, heat the oil.

Cook the beef tips to desired temperature.

Transfer to platter.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the broth, tomato paste, and vinegar together.

Pour the broth mixture into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to loosen any browned bit.

Add parsley and thyme.

Serve the sauce over the beef tips.

Eat up and enjoy!
Buy the Wheat Belly Cookbook for the full recipe.

trash, resale, giveaway, or keep: how to decide and sort

When I begin organizing a room or an area, I always just take everything out. Laying everything out and removing everything from the area allows me to see the space fresh and it always me to clean up dust or dirt that may have collected there. I really haven't done much organization in my closet in a long while so I started there.

I removed all the boxes, books, shoes, and extra storage bins to see the space better (and because we have to tear up our carpet because of a plumbing issue). Then once I go everything out, I cleaned off all the shelves.

This is where the piles come in! I started with my shoes and I grabbed every pair that I never wear, are too worn, or I just don't like anymore and put them in a big pile. The remainder of the shoes are obviously the ones I am keeping. Then I sorted through which ones I could trash, giveaway, or take to a resale shop.  My rule of thumb for these three piles...

Is it worn to the point of no return? TRASH!

excuse the blurry picture... I have worn these shoes a lot and they are no good for anyone

Is it still in good shape but not piratical? GIVEAWAY! I usually drop in a bin for the pregnancy assistance center in my area so this depends on where you are giving away to.
these are slightly worn but would make great shoes for people who need them and they are still practical

Is it still in great shape? RESALE!

I have barely worn any of these shoes but they were just collecting dust in my closet

Now since I was done with the shoes, I moved on to my purses. I had all my small purses in bins organized into color for quick selection. So after pulling all those down I went through those. I asked myself, when was the last time I used this purse and would I see myself using it again? If I couldn't remember when I used it last, I wasn't keeping it.

Here are some of the purses I decided not to keep. At this point it came down to giveaway or resale. That came down to condition.

These were a little damaged with stains and scratches so they will be given away.

These were in great or good condition still so I am going to take them to a resale shop.

While I was at it, I decided to go ahead a clean out my nightstand. Over the weekend I found a new one so I need to rearrange anyways. I again made some piles of stuff I forgot I had in the drawer. I found stuff I needed to trash, keep but move somewhere else, put in a keepsake bin (I am big into memories), or books that I really needed to end up reading or move somewhere else!

Once that was all completed, I moved a few boxes to the attic and was able to move everything else back in. But I am not done, now I need to go through my clothes and take some stuff to the resale shop. Next, I am going to show you the different options for color coding your clothes... or is it better not to?

Don't forget to link up your organizational tips today. How do you decide to trash, resale, giveaway, or keep??

now there is no excuse

Date ideas can be hard to come up with so sometimes we just end up doing the same thing, dinner and a movie. But now we have no excuse.

I began this project a while ago and I finally finished this! I saw this project on many different blogs (I used this one the most) but I wanted to share my version of the Date Night Jar.

the supplies:
mason jar
Popsicle sticks
spray paint (red, dark pink, light pink)
permanent marker
scrapbook paper
card stock

First I came up with a list of date ideas and categorized them by level of planning and money needed. Here are just a few of the ideas I used:

Then I spray painted the different colors unto the Popsicle sticks. The different colors represent the different levels of dates. I used red for more expensive and more planning, dark pink for at home dates, and pink for a little money and just a little planning.

I then made a tag with extra scrapbook paper and card stock I had lying around. Wrapping yarn around the top of the jar was an easy way to attach the tag.

There you have it... a simple date night jar!

recipe: cheeseburger soup

I'm back again with another recipe from the Wheat Belly cookbook. This one is a house favorite. It is normally gone pretty quickly and I have done it a couple times doubled because it goes so fast and we always want more. It is also a great kid-friendly recipe because it disguises the cauliflower really well!

Cheeseburger Soup
from Wheat Belly Cookbook

4 cups chicken broth, divided
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped (I don't use this in the recipe because I hate onions)
1/2 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 cup shredded cheese

In a large saucepan, combine 3 and 3/4 cups of the broth and the cauliflower.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Cook until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, get your parsley, salt, paprika, and pepper ready.

In a medium skillit over medium-high heat, heat the butter or oil. 

This is where you would cook the onion but I skip this part.

Crumble in the beer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it is no longer pink.

Stir in the spices. Remove from heat and set aside.

Transfer the cauliflower mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the saucepan.

In a small bowl, whisk the coconut flour with the remaining 1/4 cup broth until smooth.

Gradually add to the cauliflower mixture and cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat for 3 minutes. Whisk in the cheese just until it melts.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the reserved beef mixture.

Now eat up!
Buy the Wheat Belly Cookbook for the full recipe.

lessons I've learned: our diaper bag

When I began my pregnancy, I never really thought about my diaper bag and what I would put in it. Boy, was I unprepared. We have had so many instances where we really need this and it wasn't there or it was there but we ran out.

My mom bought me a beautiful Stella and Dot bag (another good option) and a cosmetic case for diapers and wipes. I am so glad she did this because I was thinking about a bag but I never really could decide. It is cute and practical! In my bag there is a great zipper pocket on the inside, a pocket on the outside (which is great for my phone or anything I might need for that specific outing), and some different pockets on the inside that are great for pacifiers or bottles.

When I said I was unprepared, I meant it. Sometimes I would go a couple days without using the bag. I wouldn't check the bag before taking it out and then I would get somewhere and realize we had no diapers, no change of clothes in case of a blowout or a throw up episode on the way to the doctor (this actually happened and he had to get a chiropractic adjustment in his diaper!), no wipes, or no pacifiers. This was totally my fault and my responsibility, I just rushed out of the house instead of checking... it is true, it will take you at least 15 more minutes to leave the house than it used to.

As our little guy grows older, what goes in the bag definitely changes but here are some basics I have ran across:

- always bring more diapers than you think and check to make sure there is enough before you leave.

- wipes are very important, make sure you have MORE than enough.

- have a travel diaper changing pad on handy and use it on the restroom diaper changing tables, they are padded and clean.

- bottles are necessary so make sure you have a great compartment in your bag where you can put the bottles so they don't spill.

- buy a formula dispenser, we use ours every day, multiple times a day.

- bring multiple pacifiers because it is inevitable, they will fall on the floor. We also keep a pacifier clip my friend made so that way we can attach the pacifier to that, then attach it to his shirt for less chance of it falling on the ground

- if you baby is teething, bring multiple teethers. 

- bring plenty of toys that are small and don't make a ton of noise... just in case they decide to continue to play music every time you bump the bag into something.

- a change of clothes for baby is very important but when they are fussy and very dirty you won't want them to be all fancy and dressed up, just bring a sleeper or something you can pack easily. 

- if your baby has reflux like our little guy, bring an extra shirt just in case it gets on you too. We have learned to deal with this because we are so used to it now but when throw up or poop is involved, that is a different story.

- this might be a little much but we also have a travel safety and grooming kit that is always handy. You never know when you might need it, especially when they are older. Mine was a gift so I figured I might as well take advantage.

- always remember your wallet and phone, no need for your entire purse.

home organization summer challenge

I am officially a stay at home mom! Today marked the first work day that I will not be going back to work as a teacher. I am still a photographer, real estate agent, and work in the health food industry but I am no longer a teacher and I will be staying home with my son. He is my job!!

Okay... now back to what I was writing about in the first place. With summer upon us, I wanted to begin a home organization project. Over the summer (June through the end of August), I will be working on organizing, purging, and thoroughly cleaning out my entire house.

Have you ever just looked through a drawer and noticed there is stuff in there you had forgotten you had? You had just kept that thing because one day you might need it and five years later you still hadn't used it? Well, I tend to do that too! So introducing the...

Home Organization Summer Challenge!!!

I am challenging myself and all of you to go through your rooms, closets, drawers, pantries, and offices to purge and clean out. I will be doing posts throughout the summer based off different organizational topics, such as:

trash, resale, giveaway, or keep: how to decide and sort
to color code or not to color code: clothes organization
favorite places to buy storage items
organizing a linen closet
using storage to decorate
office storage and organization
keeping your home organized

I will be going through my entire home, room by room, throughout the summer starting in my closet and bathroom. Hopefully my little 8 month old son will love this process as well or at least take long naps to help mommy get through this process!

I have already started my first project, taking some of the stuff off the shelves in my closet!
(We also are having a little plumbing issue in our shower, which happens to share a wall with the closet so I had no excuse and had to take some things out.)

But I still have a ways to go...

Then it will be time to go through everything and trash, resale, giveaway, or keep.

recipe: basalmic glazed pork tenderloin

Recently since changing my lifestyle, I have started cooking a lot more and more often. As I learn recipes and I see results from clean eating, cooking has grown on me. 

I use the Wheat Belly cookbook a lot because my doctor's husband wrote it but also because it has some great, easy recipes. We made this really delicious pork recipe recently and it was gone fast.

I will preface this by saying, I am not a food blogger, but I do want to start sharing healthy recipes. The recipe found here is not word for word from the book... please buy the book to get the full recipe and many more.

Basalmic Glazed Pork Tenderloin
from Wheat Belly Cookbook

1 pound pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, or butter
1/4 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 350.

Combine cardamon, black pepper, and salt. Then rub the ingredients evenly on the tenderloin.

In a heatproof baking pan or ovenproof skillet, over medium-high heat, heat the cooking oil.

Cook the tenderloin, turning occasionally, until brown on each side.

Place in the oven and let roast for 20 minutes.

Take cute pictures of your little helper... oh wait, that was just me.

Transfer roast to cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes.

Place the cooking pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add the broth and vinegar. Stir to remove any brown bits. Cook until mixture is reduced to about half, then stir in the mustard.

Slice the pork and then drizzle the mixture over the pork.

Eat up!
Buy the Wheat Belly Cookbook for the full recipe.

8 months

8 months - 5/25/14
so I am late again...

not sure, we won't go back for a well baby visit until 9 months but maybe around 21 or 22 pounds... definitely getting taller too!

booger nugget, little man, stinker, chunky monkey

He has had some runny noses off and on so sleep hasn't been the best. He does still go down around 7:30 and gets up between 7:30 or 8. He is also down to two long naps although sometimes while he is sick those naps aren't long so he ends up taking three.

Our little boy is an eater, the only thing he has tried and not particularly liked was green beans. We have experimented with many foods and he loves his mesh teethers. We fill those with bananas and now pineapple. We have tried to start puffs but he hasn't got the hang of chewing yet, we will begin work on that as soon as I am out of school.
I also am going to start pureeing more foods on my own as well because there are a lot of things he still needs to try but the pouches don't offer that, like nectarines or plums (at least by themselves).
He is still eating 5 times a day. Any tips on decreasing the times he takes a bottle? When should I do that?

We have a big boy on our hands. He is in size 3 diapers still... those really last a while! And he is in mostly 9 month clothing or 6 to 12 month/9 to 12 month clothing. It really all depends on the brand.
Since we stopped swaddling him, he is also wearing a lot of sleepers again and some cute PJs!!

He is about to go through a leap so he is about to learn so much. He is still quite the talker and sits up like a champ. Our little guy will change positions a lot and he is much more stable in the sitting position and is able to straighten up if he leans another way.


One more week of school left! I am so excited but also sad because I will miss my friends and the adult interaction. Being with my baby boy is totally worth it though and I can make my own schedule. It will be tough work but I think I will be much happier at home, busy than behind a desk. Best of luck to all my graduating seniors!! Can't wait to take next year's seniors senior pictures!

He is working hard all day and most nights. Working full time and then on top of that getting his own business going is hard work. He loves coming home to our little man everyday though. When we say "where is daddy?"

Pajama Time book! We read it to him every night before he goes to bed.
bath time!!
mommy - he is in such a mommy phase right now
the puppy
chewing on his board books
being outside
I know this is blurry but I just love this cheesy smile he is making!

scooting backward instead of towards his toys... gets so frustrated
being changed

Going on this month:

Celebrating daddy's 30th birthday

Celebration mommy's 1st Mother's Day

Celebrating friend's birthdays