Monday, November 24, 2014

30 Days of Thankful + Monday Confessions

November 23rd: I am thankful for prayer. 

I find myself praying much more frequently than I ever have before since becoming a mom. I have found that if I am not constantly calling on the Lord to make me braver, stronger, and more confident, my fears and anxiety about life can EASILY take control of me. I pray for anything and everything, but I do mostly pray for my child. 

A long-time friend read a passage from The Confident Mom by Joyce Meyers to me a few weeks ago, which basically reminded us as moms to not fear for our children. That worrying for them is NOT a what we are called to and is sinful. Letting go of my fears for Kennedy is not an easy task, but at the same time, I feel a HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders when I say the words "Lord, I trust you and have faith that you have the best intentions for my daughter". I know that the Lord hears my prayers and I am so thankful to serve a Savior who knows me and loves me just as I am.

November 24th: (On a less serious note) I am thankful for recipes! 

Whoever thought that it would be a good idea to start documenting delicious creations was a genius and I am forever thankful. Especially during the holidays! I mean, can you imagine if no one had recipes? Everything would taste like wood chips.

Monday Confessions: Let's be real here. It's a safe place.

My favorite time of the day to eat sweets/candy is after breakfast. I have probably eaten a mini snickers every day after breakfast for the last 4 months.

I love to eat yogurt and cottage cheese on toast.

I daydream that I am the singer/rapper/girl in the music video when I hear certain songs.

I want to become a celebrity JUST SO I can be on Dancing With The Stars.

I feel that if I started now, I could still become an elite runner and actually compete in a marathon, not just survive and get awarded with a "free" Chick-Fil-A sandwich (which I still look forward to).

If I ever saw Kate Middleton in real life, I think I would faint.

I love living in the city where I grew up but would jump at the chance to live somewhere else.

I watch the Food Network while I do circuits in my living room. Totally counterproductive.

I love tattoos and the stories that are behind them. I have two and feel like I could easily have 20 if I didn't lock down my love for them. I just think they are such a cool expression of individuality and personality. My mom does not share my sentiments but loves me just the same :)

HAPPY MONDAY! I love you guys and hope you have a fantastic week! Gobble Gobble!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

30 Days of Thankful + Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas

November 20th: I am thankful for my health and the ability to run. 

Running is therapeutic to me, no matter the distance or the pace. It has definitely taken a backseat since Kennedy was born, but not a day goes by that I don't day dream about it. LOVE LOVE LOVE my time with my little, but I am looking forward to the day when I can get back into a running routine and get some races on the calendar. So thankful for this amazing sport!

November 21st: I am thankful for humbling moments.

Anyone who knows me (especially my coworkers) knows that I have at least one ridiculously humbling moment every day. I was never EVER the smooth, cool kid in school due to the fact that awkward (but usually hilarious) moments like shove their big, fat way into my day like they own the place. When I was younger, I was like WTF UNIVERSE?! But I truly have come to appreciate and embrace my humbling mo-of-the-day. I think these types of events keep us real and teach us to never take life too seriously. So yes, I'm thankful for them. I really am.

November 22nd: I am thankful for perspective and how it gives you a nice little slap in the face when you have a baby.

Before baby, I was very much into my own routine. After baby, my routine no longer exists. It is SO no longer about me and 100% about her. My perspective of what is important in life has done a complete 180 and I couldn't be happier. Even the hardest days with her are still better than anything else I could be doing. She has changed me for good. I can't tell you enough how thankful I am for that little chickadee.

Only 8 more days until December! Where is this month going?!

Since Thanksgiving is around the corner, let's talk Thanksgiving dessert ideas! 

People have gotten pretty creative over the years when it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, and while I am completely content with a simple slice of pumpkin pie, I think adding a new spin on traditional desserts is just as exciting! So here are my picks for Thanksgiving 2014!

You'll want to make sure your stretchy pants are within arms reach.

There you have it! Let's make Thanksgiving SWEET!

Happy Saturday!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Flourless Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Almond Butter Cookies!

I make cookies. And I eat cookies. A.LOT. 

I begin every day with the good intention to eat more veggies and protein than any other nutrient, but the fact of the matter is, I love cookies. And when you love cookies as much as I do, you start to experiment with different recipes that are just as delicious, but a tad bit healthier, than your traditional bakery cookie.

So one day, I began to experiment with flourless cookies. I was skeptical, because I have always been team "if you're going to have a cookie, have a real cookie", but I can honestly say that I enjoy these just as much, or even more, than your normal flour-laden cookies.

I whipped up a quick for-no-reason-I-just-want-cookies batch the other day and I think they might be my best ones yet. I know this because I've already eaten half the batch.

Flourless Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Almond Butter Cookies
(makes 1 dozen cookies)

  • 1 cup natural almond butter (I used Justin's)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Sea salt, for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together almond butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs until blended.
  4. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
  5. Place 6 spoonfuls of batter onto each cookie sheet.
  6. Sprinkle the tops of the dough balls with sea salt.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges start to firm up. The centers will still look glossy when you remove the cookies from the oven.
  8. Allow cookies to sit for 5 minutes, then remove from cookie sheet and place on cooling racks.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

30 Days of Thankful Catch-Up

You might have heard this before, but when you have a baby, time decides to go at warp speed. The fact that 7 days have past since the last time I posted a 30 Days of Thankful sort of blows my mind. We have some catching up to do.

November 13: I am thankful for my mom. 

She is without a doubt the most loving, selfless woman I know and even though we have our disagreements (at least once a day), I know her love for me runs deep. So incredibly blessed by that woman.

November 14: I am thankful for baking. 

A week after Kennedy was born, I went through a hard few days of feeling inadequate as a mother and had major anxiety about the fact that everything had changed all at once. I had this precious, brand new baby in my life and nothing in me wanted to change that, but at the same time, I wanted my old life back. I needed to feel like me again and baking was the only thing I could think of that would allow me to feel like my old self in a world of so many "news". After whipping out some banana bread and a large batch of chocolate oatmeal cookies, I was feeling good again. I realized in that moment how much I really love baking. So as simple as it might seem, I am truly thankful for baking.

November 15: I am thankful for morning snuggles with my little girl. 

Kennedy normally gets up around 5AM, then I bring her down to our bed and we snuggle and fall back asleep until 6:30/7. It's probably my most favorite time of the day. She is starting to not want to snuggle quite as much anymore, so I soak it up during this short little sleepy window when she is still a major cuddle bug.

November 16: I am thankful for best friends and relationships that have definitely seen the test of time. 

A few nights ago we had some friends over, all of which we have been close with for over 10 years now. The kind of friends that have seen you at your best, your worst, and everywhere in between and have loved you through it all. We were practically babies when we met, and now all have our own babies, which is both surreal and my life's greatest blessing. Love doing mommy life with these dear friends and I could not be more thankful for their friendship.

November 17: I am thankful for my relationship with the Lord. 

This probably should have been the first thing on this list, because it is everything. Without this relationship, I am nothing. So very thankful.

November 18: I am thankful for my education. 

I definitely have moments when I look at our student loan bills and feel overwhelmed, but I am so thankful for my education, and for the opportunity to attend and graduate from a university that I am proud of.

November 19th: I am thankful for HEAT. 

With our recent cold snap, I am LOVING these sunny, cold days, but so very thankful that I can go inside to a heated home and curl up with my daughter by the fireplace. I don't know how you northerners do it. Brrr!

Whew! That's a whole lotta thankful! Happy Wednesday!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

30 Days of Thankful + My Favorite Naptime Workout

November 11: I am thankful for the brave men and women who faithfully serve this country so that we can live freely. 

I was rocking my daughter to sleep last night and was overwhelmed by the feeling that there are mothers and fathers out there who have done this very same thing the night before they are deployed, knowing it could be the last time they hold that baby in their arms. All for the sake of our country. I can't honestly say that I could bring myself to do that. These men and women have made sacrifices that are beyond my realm of understanding and deserve our respect. I hope that yesterday, more than any other day, our veterans felt the love and respect that they so well deserve.

November 12: I am thankful for a husband who can still be silly with me after 10 years together.

Not a day goes by that I am reminded of how lucky I am to have THE BEST man as my husband, teammate, best friend, baby daddy, and fellow comedian (since we both think we are funny). But one of my all time favorite things about him is the fact that after 10 years and 1 baby, we still crack each other up by being complete goofballs. I'm telling you guys, the key to marriage is being silly. I am convinced of this.

Ok, let's switch gears and talk workouts.

To say that it has been challenging to find time to workout since Kennedy was born would be an understatement. It's nearly impossible. So I have resorted to doing short living room workouts that can be completed in under 30 minutes while girlfriend goes down for her nap. After trying out several different workouts/circuits, I created this one that I feel is the most effective for me and my post-baby trouble areas (tummy, hips, arms). Do this and I guarantee you'll be sweating in your living room in no time!

My Favorite Naptime Workout

25 Plank Jogs

50 Mountain Climbers

50 Squats

15 Lateral Jump Burpees

50 Lunges (25 each leg)

15 Push Ups

50 Sit Ups

25 Floor Bicycle

25 Tricep Dips

I try to repeat this 3 times, if time permits, and am usually a tired, sweaty mess by the end of it! Try it and let me know your thoughts!

Happy Wednesday!

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