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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Another year has passed and this week always makes me reflective on how much has changed and how thankful I am for so many things in my life. Because we celebrate Simon's birthday a few days after Thanksgiving, I'm more reflective than usual, thinking about another year with him.
I feel so incredibly thankful and blessed to have Simon and Peter in my life (and baby #2!). They are my biggest blessings aside from my salvation.  When I married Peter, I knew that I wanted to spend my life on an adventure with him but I had no idea how happy I would be as Simon's mother.  Being his mom has given me such a sense of purpose, peace and fulfillment.  I've honestly never been happier.
This past year has been surprising, adventurous, hard and fulfilling.  We have had an amazing support system of our family, friends and our church and for that I am extremely grateful.
I decided to do a few pictures from our last year so I hope you enjoy them.  =)

Enjoying lunch

Celebrating our 4th Anniversary

Cousins Axel and Simon

With Cousin Jordan

Bike ride

Road trips!

Lots of Spartan Races =)


Adventures with Daddy

Plane Ride
First time at the fair

First Carousel ride

Sitting on top of the Hill
Tea Parties!

Visiting Grandad and Mum-Mum

Sweating our the Heat

Exploring the piano

New Favorite Hat

Potty Training!
Pumpkin Patch

Happy Thanksgiving, Dolls!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Makeup Drawer Overhaul

Hey girls,
  I have been struggling with my makeup drawer for a while now and finally got around to re-organizing everything. I had a friend suggest that I do a post about it to give ideas so here it is. :)

For the record, I am embarrassed to share the before picture cause it had become SO out of control however, I did have it looking better before a certain (almost) 2 year old decided to dump the contents all over the drawer.  I'm sure none of you can relate to that. ;)

Here is how I have been living with my makeup drawer: I had most of my stuff in 2 different makeup bags that worked okay but I was constantly searching for things and they would get messy being all together like that.

Pretty bad, huh? It was downright embarrassing.
Now here is the after pic:

I got this amazing drawer set at Homegoods along with the cute little jar to hold q-tips. Eventually I want to get a separate jar to hold brushes in so they can stand up but still have a lid to protect from dust.

It's so handy that there is a smaller drawer on top for all my eyewear (eye cream), eye shadow etc and then deeper drawers below to hold foundation, powders, brushes and blush etc.

I am so happy with the results and wishing I had done it a long time ago!  If I really needed to conserve space on my countertop, I could simply put this entire thing in a cupboard and still have it ready to go at any time.  I highly recommend it if you have a need for more organization in your life.  =)

Happy Organizing!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What's in Your Cooking oil?

Choosing the right oil to cook with can be confusing as there are many different theories out there as to which is the best and why.  Lately there is a huge push to use olive oil for everything so of course Canola oil has come out with new adds as to why they are healthier than olive oil.  I thought I would explain which oil is a good choice for what and why (to the best that I can!).

Canola Oil and/or Vegetable Oil

1.  Over 90% of Canola Oil is genetically modified.  (if you haven't looked into GMO products, find out about why they're not good for you here).
2.  Canola Oil is surprisingly high in trans fatty acids and is extremely processed:
According to the Weston A. Price foundation and Fat Experts Sally Fallon and Mary Enig state:
“Like all modern vegetable oils, canola oil goes through the process of refining, bleaching and degumming -all of which involve high temperatures or chemicals of questionable safety. And because canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which easily become rancid and foul-smelling when subjected to oxygen and high temperatures, it must be deodorized. The standard deodorization process removes a large portion of the omega-3 fatty acids by turning them into trans fatty acids. Although the Canadian government lists the trans content of canola at a minimal 0.2 percent, research at the University of Florida at Gainesville, found trans levels as high as 4.6 percent in commercial liquid oil. The consumer has no clue about the presence of trans fatty acids in canola oil because they are not listed on the label.”

To see more about Canola Oil, read here.

Vegetable Oil is derived from the same seed that Canola oil is (rapeseed) plus soybean, sunflower, safflower, corn etc.  This means that Vegetable Oil is also genetically modified and is very high in trans fats too.  To see a more on vegetable Oil and MARGARINE, read here.

Please note that Margarine is the same as Canola or Vegetable oil and should also be avoided.

Olive Oil:

1.  Olive oil is good for you because it is high in monosaturated fat (think "natural" or God-made fat - aka, man doesn't have to create it because it's naturally found in foods).
2.  "Virgin" or "Extra Virgin" refers to the process with which the oil is made.  Buying a virgin or extra virgin oil means less processing of the oil to make it ( as in, they squeezed the olive and out came a drop of oil).
3.  While it is a healthy oil, it has been grossly misunderstood by the general public in terms of using it as a cooking oil.  Olive oil has a low smoke point (or is not stable at a high heat).  Cooking with it on a higher temperature will decompose the oil and change the antioxidants in the oil to free radicals (which you do not want - they are cancer causing!).

This oil is best used cold or slightly warm.  I use it for dressings or dipping bread in but I never cook with it.

Coconut Oil:

 1.  The reasons to use this oil are so numerous that it really makes it the best choice when choosing a cooking oil:
  -Helps mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria
  -Fights off yeast, fungus and candida
  -Positively affects hormones for thyroid and blood sugar control
  -Improves insulin use within the body
  -Increases metabolism, energy and endurance (because your body treats it like a protein and not a fat so instead of storing it, it burns it first)
  -Increases digestion and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (found in vegetables)
  -Contains lauric acid which increases good cholesterol in the blood stream
There are many more benefits to using this oil - too many for me to get them all down here.  To read more about coconut oil see here.
  2.  Coconut oil has a high smoking point so cooking with it will not turn it rancid.

For a guide on how to choose the best coconut oil see here.

Real Butter:

  1.  Butter is rich in cancer-fighting fats (the same fats found in coconut oil)
  2.  Butter protects against degenerative arthritis
  3.  Butter promotes a healthy brain and nervous system because it's high in cholesterol (something our bodies need to develop properly)
  4.  Butter protects the gut:
  "Butterfat contains glycospingolipids, a special category of fatty acids that protect against gastro-intestinal infection, especially in the very young and the elderly. For this reason, children who drink skim milk have diarrhea at rates three to five times greater than children who drink whole milk. Cholesterol in butterfat promotes health of the intestinal wall and protects against cancer of the colon. Short and medium chain fatty acids protect against pathogens and have strong anti-fungal effects. Butter thus has an important role to play in the treatment of candida overgrowth."
To see more on why butter is a health food read here.

I hope this list helps you to at least be comfortable with knowing which oils are good for cooking and eating and why!  I am no expert, this is all just information that I have gleaned over the years in my health transformation.  I know that coconut oil/olive oil and butter has played a big role in helping me maintain a smaller frame while being healthier overall.  

Good luck!