Friday Favorites

Oh boy this is fun! One of my favorite posts to write is this one -- Friday Favorites -- where I get to share all the fun things worth sharing that I have either purchased or been sent by marketing companies in the recent months/weeks. 

First off, it's Friday and I couldn't be happier. That being said...

There are a few new things in my life that I use on the daily and I wanted to share them because they are SO worth it.

First of all, I rarely eat granola! Actually never. I have made a few homemade granolas {remember this one here and this one here} and mmmmmm, so good, but it's often soooo time consuming.  But the stuff in the bag from the store? NO! Not having it. Usually cooked at high temps with canola oil and sugar, FULL of unwanted calories and just not the idea breakfast. HOWEVER, Purely Elizabeth has changed breakfast for me! I came across their products accidentally at a health food store and wow, even their hot cereal {never was a big hot cereal person before either} is amazingly healthy. As an ex health food company owner and product developer, I am snobby and picky about what goes into packaged goods. 

THANK YOU Purely Elizabeth, for saving my mornings. Also, why aren't you in Target anymore? 

Anyways, next up on my list...Yuve! Holy moly this stuff is good. I have tried MANY MANY protein powders and powdered nutritional supplements and very few of them met my ingredient standards and my tastebud standards {wink}! This stuff is revolutionary! You gotta try it

Next up, BABY STUFF! 

With a new baby in the house I'm having to revisit the baby products and baby phase. I still use the Bjorn and get lots of funny looks {I think they have gotten a bad wrap amongst a certain crowd since my other boys were little but I own the Ergo and just can't seem to wear it correctly because I'm used my good old bjorn}. Anyways, a diaper service?? Um, that was NOT even an option when my boys were babies. Diapers.com had just been invented and as much as I loved the concept I didn't really have a need for diapers any longer. Anyways, so, because I'm an affiliate for them and because I blog for them I felt the "need" to also use their products. I do have to say, the  Honest Company bundles  are amazing. However, I was a novice with the whole "bundle" thing. I ordered too many, forgot to update my next month's bundle, blah blah, etc. But as soon as I got used to it...oh my...where has this diaper service been my whole life? Where has this BUNDLE SERVICE been my whole life? I highly suggest you try it out.

Finally, last but not least, YUMuniverse plant-based cookbook! I love Heather's YumUniverse blog. It's one of my favorites. I don't sit and read too many blogs but when I do look at this one---she nails it. Everything is to me, perfect. I'm extremely envious of this cookbook; it's what I would only dream about doing. I wanted to blog about it sooner but I had my baby and haven't been online much. {sorry you guys}. 

That's all for now. But before I sign out, if you haven't checked out my 3 ingredient pancakes yet, you're missing out! They are healthy and very DELISH. They do contain EGGS however, which this blog doesn't usually include. 

New Baby + The Blog

I have been gone from my blog for some time now after having my third baby. It's been a nice break I must admit; social media can be overwhelming time consuming. There's nothing better than spending quality time with {or just staring at} my daughter - not even blogging, sorry to say! 

I have been busy though blogging over at The Honest Company.

One of my latest posts over there has caused a lot of exciting conversation....

A year ago, after I found out I was pregnant, I decided that I was going to fully enjoy every moment of my pregnancy. I had my other babies when I was a lot younger and they were so close together that I didn't get to full enjoy the baby phase x2 or even the back-to-back pregnancies. {I had a 4 month old when I found out I was pregnant again}. 

So this time, with some wisdom under my belt and knowing it would probably be my last, I decided to enjoy this crazy time in my life. But enjoying it meant not only ACCEPTING IT but EMBRACING IT and in order to do that happily, I decided to just not complain. About A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

I didn't wear a bracelet or talk about this new decision. I just made a conscious effort to watch my thoughts and my words. I mean, after all, I knew the inevitable would come -  morning sickness, the back pain, the uncomfortable sleeping, weight gain, and emotional turmoil ups and downs. It wasn't a secret, I had done it twice before. So I just kept it to myself and ACCEPTED it as part of the most amazing process any BODY can go through - making a baby! 

I also decided to be positive around my other two kids. I made a decision that my family is the most important thing to me. I accepted the challenges or parenting and I embraced it. I smile more even when I don't want to. I wake up positive, not grumpy. I don't let little things bother me and try to walk away from silly menial negative discussions. Gossip at my kids school was the last thing I wanted any part of and the same goes for anger and FEAR...that's another blog post in itself...there is a LOT of fear in child birth and pregnancy that is so unnecessary. I had to not let my mind even go there.  

This doesn't mean being irresponsible or not discussing true feelings and recognizing emotions. Denying serious problems is not healthy either. Proper communication is the only way to deal with issues head on. But unnecessary fighting, arguing, negativity, fear, worry and whining, just is NOT a necessary or fun way to live. 

Even a natural birth at home?...Nope, I didn't complain! The sleepless nights with an infant...nope, still didn't complain! {ask my husband} It started to truly become second nature. Once I stopped, it was like complaining wasn't even an option anymore. I did often laugh at the craziness of childbirth and the pain/pushing: It was FREAKIN' HARD AND SCARY. It's just a fact. But again, I made a choice to let go of FEAR and the whining of things that were out of my control. 

I went to a yoga class while pregnant. A super spiritual and gentle class. {confession: I haven't done yoga since my early 20s} The instructor started doing her mantas while we were meditating at the end of the session. Her reminders: Everything right now is what is supposed to be. Everything happening is meant to happen. AND IT CLICKED: 

CHILL OUT! ENJOY THE RIDE! ALL IS OK! ALL IS GOOD! CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!

I found this to be so helpful and I continue to tell myself this. It helps me to not freak out when things aren't going as I want them to.

MY LIFE ISN'T PERFECT. MY KIDS ARE HARD. MY LIFE CAN BE CHALLENGING. WE ALL HAVE DARK DAYS. BUT I ACCEPT MY LIFE AS IT IS. I CREATE MY HAPPINESS WITHIN THE CHALLENGE. THERE IS A REASON THESE THINGS ARE HAPPENING TO ME - WHETHER GOOD OR BAD - AND I FIND MY COMFORT AND MY CONTROL IN KNOWING THAT. AS THEY ANNOYINGLY SAY "IT'S AAAALL GOOD"!

There are way too many things that are out of our control. But the one thing we can control is our attitude about it. And we can control how we react and what we say. A positive attitude can make the toughest of times, the most amazing ones. Sometimes the best things come out of the worst struggles. And being positive is what we owe our kids, our husbands and those around us. SPREADING POSITIVITY is a gift we can offer if we choose to. 

I remember purprosely avoiding discussions that might upset me or keep my mind from being present and happy. It was a great decision. I now see a lot of unnecessary anger and fear on a daily basis just by opening up Facebook or turning on the news. Take a look today at the fear and hate over things that are 100% out of our control.  So what's the point and why do we do this?

Somebody tagged me in an instagram photo {thanks Renee}. The photo said this:

WHEN YOU COMPLAIN, YOU MAKE YOURSELF A VICTIM. LEAVE THE SITUATION. CHANGE THE SITUATION. OR ACCEPT IT. ALL ELSE IS MADESS. -- Eckhart Tolle

And how true is this? It's exactly what I have discovered for myself {only he said it way better, being concise is not a gift I was born with}. We are total victims every time we complain. You can't be strong, powerful, happy and be a victim at the same time. 

I keep this quote on my wall and every time my husband comes to me with an issue or is annoyed or mad or I'm totally ready to just unload and explode, I look at the quote and remember my options. MADNESS ISN'T AN OPTION FOR ME. 

And I look at my daughter each day and thank her for she has made me a new person


TRUMAKER :: The Unique Gift for Him

What do you get the picky uncle or son that is super hard to shop for or the dad that has everything already? Mamas, don't worry, I've got the perfect idea and shhhh, my husband too will be getting some of these super stylish goods!

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INTRODUCING...TRUMAKER: built-to-fit clothing for men - like custom, but easier!

TO KEEP READING READ FULL ARTICLE + VIEW MORE PHOTOS CLICK HERE

Flourless No-Bake Cookie Dough Balls

It's been a long long 40 weeks for me! I can't tell you how ready I am to be a mom of 3 little ones. I have patiently been waiting almost a month {I swear that's how long I've been in early labor} now to get this little girl out! She is testing my patience but I want her to come when she is absolutely ready! NOT when I decide. But, in order to do that, I must wait and wait and wait some more. And it's actually driving me bananas! 

What better to do than bake? Only this time, there's no oven involved. 

I love this recipe I came up with because there are times when I just can't wait {I'm waiting for a baby here...who needs to wait for cookies if you don't have to} for the oven to preheat and the cookies to cook fast enough; I'm not in the mood for a ton of dishes or a hot kitchen. So, these cookies are PERFECT for that craving. 

Or, if you have a spontaneous play date with your kids' friends and want to impress the kids without any fuss, then these are also the perfect go-to snack. 

Vegan, gluten-free cookie dough balls that taste anything but healthy! So what are you waiting for?

NO BAKE COOKIE DOUGH BALLS {gluten-free / vegan}

yields 1 dozen

2 heaping TBLS Earth Balance

1/2 cup almond flour

1 cup gluten-free oats

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped {skin discarded}

1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste {I like the salty flavor}

Combine everything in a food processor. Blend/chop and pulse until everything mixes up and forms a ball. You'll want to pulse for a bit and then mix and then pulse. Keep going until mixture should be somewhat chunky but chocolate chips should not hold original shape. 

Form small bit sized balls. Recipe should yield a dozen. Refrigerate for an hour or two before eating - OR eat the dough right out of the bowl. {wink} They should last a few days in an airtight container in the fridge. 

 

Sunburns In October + Ooey Gooey Halloween Treats

Christine is here to talk natural sunburn remedies this month. It's been heat wave after heat wave for us Southern Californians and we are feeling the burn. But this remedy works for snow season as well - to help soothe that burn after a day of skiing. 

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KEEP READING FOR CHRISTINE'S FULL SUNBURN REMEDY RECIPE CLICK HERE -------------->>>

And I'm here to share a few fun healthier Halloween recipes with you. Ooey Gooey Green Slime Smoothie and Pumpkin rice crispy treats coming up! You can check out the full recipe and more pics over on the Honest Company blog. 

Happy September + New on the Blog This Month

These past few weeks have been full of fun posts that I'm not sure you've seen yet! First up is my Almond Milk Tutorial and how to incorporate homemade almond milk into your weekly routine. Check out the full recipe details plus more photos over on The Honest Company Blog...

-------> FOR FULL RECIPE + TO KEEP READING CLICK HERE 

Next up...more Etsy finds. Want to spruce up your nursery? Or are you looking for a unique baby gift? I love Etsy for all things baby and nursery! I have loads of pics and products that I have been drooling over. To read more check out PURE Littles section of the blog

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-------> TO READ FULL POST + SEE ALL THE PICS CLICK HERE

Next up...a wonderful article with the Twin Labs formulator. He talks B12 and why we need it; how we can get it, and which supplements he recommends and why....

-------> TO CONTINUE READING THE FULL ARTICLE + INTERVIEW CLICK HERE

Finally, I did a fun guest post for Live It, Do It! Australian blog. Cass, the author, put together a great Sugar-free September E-book and I'm so happy to be apart of it...Check it out and go sugar-free this month! What a fun challenge.