Sunday, March 31, 2013

Creamy Potato Soup


This is one of my favorite recipes of all time.  It is homey and rich and comforting.  It isn't a traditional potato soup but you'd be crazy to not try it!

Creamy Potato Soup

10 medium potatoes
1 cup diced celery
1 tsp salt
1 medium onion, diced
3 cups water
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 T butter
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 and 1/2 cup milk
1 cup cream
1 T chopped parsley
cheddar cheese

Peel and dice your potatoes.  Combine potatoes, 3 cups of water, onion, celery, salt and pepper in a large pot.  Bring to a boiling point then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Mix the cornstarch with the remaining water in a small bowl.  Bring the soup to a boiling point and add the cornstarch mixture.  Simmer a few minutes.  Add parsley, milk, cream, butter, eggs and salt.  Heat slowly.

I top mine with a generous portion of cheddar cheese!



Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Has Sprung

This time last year we were anxiously awaiting the return of Peter.  He spent 6 longs months overseas and I remember the excitement that I felt as the weather began to get better and we hoped for his swift return.

We celebrated Easter with egg salad once he arrived because I was too pregnant, too excited and frankly too exhausted to do much more.  

This year we'll spend Easter apart but that's ok.  Regardless of whether we are together or apart we have the same hope.  

Easter is the culmination of God's plan for Jesus here on earth.  He came as a baby....grew...taught...lived a sinless life.  He then died willingly for our sins so that we wouldn't be faced with judgement.

Having children has given me a new perspective on the way God views me.  Sometimes I feel like I am handing out consequences all day long.  Children (and people in general) are just sinful little creatures!  I can't imagine what it would feel like to have to pay for all of my sins.  Way too many to count.  Way too gross to name.  

Thank goodness for a merciful Savior.  A loving Father.  A willing Sacrifice.  A risen Lord.




This post started out as a "hurrah I have my camera back from the shop" post.  I captured these shots at the park today as we enjoyed the first day of spring-like weather here in PNW.  I know it isn't perfect...but that one in the middle of brother pushing brother....melting my heart a little bit.  Ok, a lot a bit.  So thankful for these precious gifts the Lord has entrusted us with!!

PS...we love you Daddy!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

These Three

In the words of Joey Tribbiani (for all of your 90s folks)...

Could the BE any cuter?



Love my boys!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Au Naturel

We are trying to take advantage of all of the beauty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.  Once of the things I've been most impressed with here is the park system.  We have amazing parks in our town.  One of my goals is to visit each one at last once while we live here but I'm not sure we'll make it!

Our local zoo is run by the park system as is a cool place called Northwest Trek.  NWT has animals that you can see that are in areas kind of like a zoo.  But the fun park is riding the tram through the park and catching a glimpse of a moose, bison or deer.  We took the kids a couple of weeks ago and had a blast!


You can tell this guy was so impressed.  I'm not sure he saw a single animal.  But he enjoyed many crackers.



Pointing out Swiper the Fox



My sweet boy!



Love this guy!  Isn't he so handsome?



Clearly worn out by our foray into the wilderness.  I love that he took one bite of his apple and then fell asleep.



Our buddy the moutain came out to play!  It was a gorgeous day!!



This makes me laugh



Love that toothy grin






The earth is filled with the Lord's glory.  Habakkuk 2:14

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easy Paleo Pudding




I adapted this chocolate pudding from a recipe I found online.  I'm not totally satisfied with it yet but it definitely satisfies that need for something sweet craving that I get when I'm following a strict paleo diet.

Paleo Chocolate Pudding

1/2 medium avocado or 1 small avocado mashed
3 to 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
4 tsp honey or agave nectar
1-2 tsp almond butter
little bit of salt

I put all of my ingredients in the food processor and processed until smooth.  My suggestion would be to start out with the smallest amount of each ingredient (3 Tbsp cocoa, 1 tsp almond butter, tiny bit of salt) that way you can keep adding until you like the taste.  I found it to be a tiny bit too avocado tasting, I think because I was excepting something like totally amazing.  This isn't totally amazing but it's a great substitution for the real thing.  Keep your expectations under control!  Getting used to eating things that aren't full of sugar and other processed ingredients takes time.  The second time I made it I mixed in some shredded coconut and it was much more to my liking.

I plan to keep adapting this until I find the perfect combination.  You could also top with nuts, coconut and or dark chocolate chips.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easy Cheesy Sweet Potatoes




So normally you don't think of sweet potatoes as a receptacle for cheese.  Butter or brown sugar yes.  But cheese?  No.  But this awesome dish will change your mind!  I found it in a magazine recently and we can't get enough of it!

Cheesy Sweet Potatoes

2-3 large sweet potatoes
1/4 to 1/3 cup cream
2 T butter
2 T goat cheese
handful of pistachios
goat cheese & butter for the top

Peel and dice your sweet potatoes.  Boil until easier mashed.  Add cream, butter and coat cheese and mix with a hand mixer until creamy.

Chop pistachios and sprinkle on top.

I like to add a small pat of butter and a little bit of sprinkled goat cheese to each serving as well.  This dish is beautiful and it is so rich and satisfying.  Plus it is healthier than traditional mashed potatoes (assuming you use cream in those too like I do!).

Enjoy this fun spin on sweet potatoes!

Friday, March 22, 2013

What is Love Really?

Friend I wrote this post around Valentine's day last year and didn't post it at the time.  Then I didn't post it this year either.  But with the Easter season coming I think these are important truths to ponder.

***

Posting about Valentine's Day is like posting about the New Year.  You are either a grouch because you refuse to make resolutions that you probably won't keep or you fall into the "everyone is doing it" category and make a list of things you promise to follow through with but don't.  February 14 brings about the hopeless romantics and the heart-day haters.  I don't know where I stand on the issue.  I've never been a big celebrator of Valentine's  Day because let's be honest I didn't usually have anyone to celebrate with.  Marriage to a military man hasn't really changed that much so we'll  just say I'm pretty ambivalent towards the day and I really do mean that.  If tomorrow passes without a card (I'm positive that  I will because he's already told me he didn't send one....lol) and I don't get any flowers I certainly won't be surprised or upset.  There's plenty of time for that the other 364 days this year.

What I am a BIG fan of though is love.  All kinds of love.  Also the Food Network, Salted Caramel ice cream and costume jewelry.  But I really really love love!

I've been struggling a lot with the following words...freedom...love...sacrifice...rebirth.  All words that have to do with my faith.  Then all of the sudden both my weekly bible study and sunday morning sermon addressed them.  I know that isn't a coincidence.  I can't decide though what God wants me to do with it.  I  mean, there are some obvious applications in my life. But  I continue to struggle with what those words do and should mean for me and other born-again people.

We live in a world where it is really your own fault if you aren't knowledgeable.  Notice I didn't say smart or wise.  Not everyone falls into that category.  But the ability to research, read and learn about things is at your fingertips.  In bible study last week we looked at the Corinthians.  The Corinthians had lots of knowledge but they were applying it incorrectly.  More specifically they were applying it they way they wanted to.  They were deciding what they "felt like" was acceptable and then allowing people in their fellowship to be sinful because of their modified version of truth.  

The bible is VERY clear on this subject.  We must focus on the true message of Christ which is the cross.  We aren't permitted to live by personal preference just because we are knowledgeable about a subject or we think something should or shouldn't be done a certain way.

In Corinthians 5 Paul is addressing some crazy cases of incest that are occurring among believers.  Historically this wasn't even accepted by non-believers of the day. So it is pretty  concerning to him that the church at Corinth is allowing such behaviors to continue.  He writes that they should expel these people from the church.  He isn't talking about  unbelievers here.  He doesn't hold them to the same standard.  But he is clear that if you are claiming to be a Christ-follower you must act a certain way.

The issue I keep coming back to is this....everyone, even believers, seems to have their own set of standards to follower.  Some are based in scripture and some in experience.  Some seem logical and some seem wise.  Some seem wise by worldly standards and others seem crazy.  

I read in the news this week about a girl who won a Victoria's Secret modeling contest.  I don't know all the details because honestly I think it's hard to believe anything you read in the news anymore but the article leads one to believe that she stopped working for VS because she wanted to honor her husband.  She didn't want to put her body on display.  I wanted to give the girl a high-five!  I mean, that is awesome right?  Then I read the comments on the article. And literally I wanted to cry.  People were so mean.  They bashed her for "throwing her life away", for "being a hypocrite" etc etc etc.  I was shocked....I don't know why but I was.  And it brought to mind this verse...

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (I Corinthians 1:18)

And really that  is what it all comes down to.  Sometimes we as Christians have to make hard decisions.  We have to do things that are unpopular.  We have to do things that make us look like we are  unaccepting or not tolerant.  We have to tell people hard truths.  We have to sit out when it seems like everyone around us is playing.  And we definitely don't get to pick and choose what we want to believe in because we are smart or have read a lot or just have a feeling about something.

You want to really talk about love.  Consider this...

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. (I Peter 2:24)

This really happened.  As a Mother I CAN NOT imagine what it must have felt like to watch Christ die on the cross.  And then to know that literally it was my own sin that drove the nails into his hands and feet.  That pierced his side with a spear.  That mocked him...spat upon him.  It makes me sick thinking about it  We really were "bought at a price".  We BELONG to God.  We are no longer free to just keep on sinning.  We are supposed to LIVE FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS!!

At church this Sunday I was struck for the first time by the words born-again in this way.  I  thought about all the things the Little Guy has learned in the past year.  Wow!  I mean, it would take me a long time to write down every he has learned in the past month!!  A lot of times a new Christian is like that too.  They soak in the Word. They pray.  The immerse themselves in everything that is the cross.  When did I stop doing that?  Why did I stop doing that?  I have to pursue righteousness in my life.  Christians can not stop pursuing righteousness.  We must daily be at the foot of the cross.  If we aren't there we're in the wrong place.  We will not find the answers to our question anywhere else.  We must center ourselves where the ultimate display of LOVE took place.

So for me this Valentine's Day is definitely all about love.  

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The White Shadow

That's what my husband calls my our dog. It's an apt description. Way better than his name. Who calls a 7 pound dog Bear? Yes, you read that correctly. Our frou frou little dog's name is Bear. Peter thought it would be funny to call out "Bear" and have people think we had a monster dog.

Monster dog in size he is not. Monster dog in naughtiness he is!

Some of Bear's behaviors have improved with age. Sigh. It only took 4 years to get him to stop peeing in the house. I mean come on! We got Bear the Thanksgiving after we were married. Peter was going to be gone for six months and I told him I couldn't be alone in the house that long without cable or a dog. We got both.

The first night we picked up Bear we drove to meet my parents at Starbucks so they could see him. Peter got him out of the car and as he was holding him realized he was pretty warm. Our sweet puppy had pottied down the front of his shirt. We then drove 4 hours to Peter's parents house in Tennessee. Upon arriving Bear attempted to establish his dominance over their golden retriever and then promptly ran around the living room in circles at top speed for about 5 minutes. Once he stopped he left a little present for Peter right in the middle of his clothes.

Clearly we were off to a great start.

Nevertheless Bear was a good companion for me. Don't laugh but once I even researched how to clone your dog. Stop it....I can hear you laughing. I told Peter that even if we got another dog just like Bear it wouldn't be the same dog and so I wanted to clone him. It costs about a bazillion dollars and since then I have decided I would rather not clone my dear puppy.

Bear really isn't a bad dog, he just has some bad habits. He clearly believes he is my guardian angel and thus tries to attack or bark at anyone or anything that gets close. At our old house he used to bark at leaves when they would blow near the house in the wind. We now have a massive front porch that we use daily. Bear sits at the gate and barks at every single person that walks by. It's not annoying at all.

I can't go anywhere in the house without Bear following me, hence the nickname, the White Shadow. He really is a sweet little dog and just wants to cuddle with you all the time. I do kind of feel sorry for him now that the Little Guy seems to think he wants to pillow fight all of the time. I'll let you guess who wins that one.

Having my babies was definitely a turning point for me as far as loving my dog. I still love my dog. But it just ins't the same. Being a military family it's hard having a pet. We end up leaving home more often than a traditional family and this becomes costly as far as boarding or shipping.

All things considered I don't regret getting little Bear. He has been a sweet addition to our family and really did keep my good company the first few years of our marriage when Peter was gone. I know once the boys get a little older they will have so much fun with him. And it really is hard to stay mad at a creature that loves you as much as this one loves me.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

An Easy I Love You




It's easy to get caught up in the day to day when you are busy and have kids!  Even without kids I know Peter and I had days where we just weren't able to connect.

One of the things I hate about our house is the lack of wall space.  I love our house but I miss being able to hang things up!  Our kitchen in particular has very little wall space so instead of hanging a calendar or dry erase board I made this frame.

This is seriously THE easiest craft ever.  Even if you are the least crafty person in the entire universe you can do this.

Ready for the directions?

Buy a frame that you love.
Take our the fake picture.
Buy some dry erase markers.
Leave lovey dovey messages for your spouse!

This has been a great way for us to show appreciation to each other!  It was well worth the investment!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Paleo Beef Stew




I'm continuing on my soup/stew streak.  I just can't get enough.  You know this one is good because I've eaten it everyday for 5 days in a row!  It is hearty and warming and paleo!!

Paleo Beef Stew

2 cups of baby carrots
1 and 1/2 lbs beef stew
large onion roughly chopped
2 medium gold potatoes chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup broth
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
salt & pepper to taste

As usually this is easy peasy!  Simply put all the ingredients in the crock pot and let it do it's magic!!  I set it on low and let it cook for around 5 hours.

I made this originally without the potatoes but I just needed them!!  There is actually some controversy in the paleo world about potatoes and I figure as long as I'm not eating a whole potato at a time every day then it's alright!

This was a little too spicy to feed to the babies so you might want to tone it down just a bit!

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mom: Woman of Faith Series

Code Starts Here:

Welcome back to "Mom: Woman of Faith".  Each Saturday a group of moms respond to a question essential to our lives as Christians and Mothers.  It is our hope that this series will spark reflection and growth for all those involved.  Please feel free to add your thoughts here or on facebook.  Thanks for being here, and for sharing in our journey as Christians and mothers.  We are always looking for more contributors!  Email nancy if interested.

This week's Question:
What is your biggest wish for your children?

Nancy

I have lots of wishes for my children, big and small.  I hope they are better at sports than I was.  I hope they have great friends and wonderful teachers during their school years.  I hope that they excel academically and remain devoted to our family.


All of these hopes and wishes, however, pale in comparison to my biggest wish for my children: that they become saints!  That they get to heaven!  Really, what else could be greater than this wish?

My children are still very young and we are already trying to instill the faith in them. I can see, however, that this is going to be a long, long journey!  A few years ago I sat with my grandparents, who are very serious Christians, and listened to them talk about how they are still very actively working to help their children along their journey to heaven.  they know that this is their most important joy and work diligently at it.  Parenting is a bigger job than I ever thought it would be, but the reward of eternal life is a pretty good incentive! 


Barb
To answer this I must go back to the first date I had with my husband.  We shared those things that we valued most in life….  First was our Catholic Faith, secondly openness to Family and the wish to have a many children, and nature or the farm.  Since were both wanting the same things, we thought “why not?”  After a short long-distance dating, and a short engagement we were taking the final step in our preparation with our engagement weekend.  We were very excited to share our love of family and openness to having a large number of children.  We were shocked and saddened that no other couple agreed with us!  They all said that at most 2 children, some said only one or none because of the mess the world was in.  It even made me question if we were being selfish to have a lot of kids.  I asked my husband… he did not hesitate one instant…”  The world needs LIGHTS!”  he said.  This caused my fears to evaporate, and this has been the motto on which we have based our marriage/family.  

Now 34 years later….how has this all worked out for us….  We have 5 children here on earth, and 6 losses in heaven.  Sharing openly our pain of loss made us very close, and appreciate the Gift of LIFE!  “The world needs Lights” has carried forth into the marriages of our 3 married daughters, with openness to LIFE and sharing of Faith in their domestic Church – family.  We took very seriously sharing our Faith with great JOY and our greatest wish for our children – that they be LIGHTS in this world of darkness.  Now that three are grown with children of their own, and the other two are listening to a call to the priesthood and religious life… our wish is Truth, and they are sharing that Light with their old parents! There is no more wonderful gift than to be taken deeper by our children-lights!

Larua
As a Christian Mama there is nothing more I could ask for than for my children to follow hard after Christ.  If you aren't a believer that may sound weird.  What does that even mean?  Well...

Exhibit Love & Grace to Other--As Christians we believe it is by Grace we were saved (Eph 2:8)  My wish is that my children would exhibit that same grace to others.  That they would be kind and compassionate.  That they were serve others.  That they would humble themselves and put others first.

Seek God--I want them to seek the Lord in everything they do.  In our house we don't make big decision unless we are sure that is how God is leading us.  (Matt 6:33)

Men/Women of Prayer--I hope they will incorporate prayer (including THANKSGIVING) and devotional time into their daily lives.(I Thess 5:16-18)

As I read through this list it makes me realize that I have high (but appropriate) expectations.  And I know I definitely don't even live up to all of these all the time.  But if we continually seek the Lord's help and guidance in our lives He will sustain us!  We are fortunate that we serve a God that doesn't give up on us when we make mistakes.  So when I have a non compassionate moment or I don't choose to serve others, God always gives me another chance.  My goal is to model these things for my children!!  And I pray that I am able to do so!

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.Micah 6:8

 

Thank yoiu for being a part of this week's Mom, Woman of Faith.  For next week's question click here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Goodbye Google Reader, Hello Bloglovin!!

If you follow a few blogs you may have heard the new that Google is discontinuing it's GFC or Google Reader in July.  This means if you follow my blog that way you'll no longer receive updates!  I know you are so super sad about that so I'm letting you know other ways you can keep up with us here at Storybook Reality!

Bloglovin

This is a great reader!!  I'm now following all of my favorite blogs on this new platform.  It's easy to use and you can organize what you've read and not read easily.  There will be a new "follow me on Bloglovin" box in my sidebar so you can click on it and follow just like you used to in GFC.  It's also extremely easy to switch your blogs to Bloglovin.  They do it all for you!!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Facebook

You can always follow my facebook page.  I try to post most of my posts there and it is an easy way to get in touch with me.

Find Storybook Reality on Facebook


Twitter

I'm not a super regular tweeter but you can find me there occasionally!

Find Laura on Twitter

Pinterest

I love love love pinterest!  And I try to post all of my recipes there so if you are a Storybook Reality recipe lover then follow me there!

Find Laura on Pinterest

Instagram

This is probably my favorite place!!  I love showing off picture of my babies and other interesting things I find during the day.  It's an easy way to connect and I find it doesn't take up as much time as some of the other forms.  Therefore it's on the top of my list!

Find Laura on Instagram

As always you can also subscribe via RSS feed or email!  Just check the sidebar to sign-up!

If you have recently switched over to Bloglovin and are a reader of mine I'd love to follow you so we don't lose touch!

Insta Friday




I'm back on Paleo and have finally found a yummy treat.  This stuff tastes JUST like the tea they give you at Aveda when you go to get your hair done.  However you get 20 for $3.00.  Yum!



Be still my heart.  Watching these two "build" a shelf together was magic.  Pure magic.  Little Guy asked numerous times...

Do you want to work together with me Mama?

We will all work together.

It was PRECIOUS!!



This..not so precious.  I like to call it "Unsupervised"  Salt art by the Little Guy.

Sigh.



Got these cuties for a steal at our local consignment shop.  They are NWT and I'm saving them for the Littlest Guy....or a Little Girl someday!



He rarely closes his eyes when nursing...he is too busy...so I was happy to capture this shot.



Yum!  5 ingredient triple chocolate cake.  



Already such a good helper!



This kid is ALL OVER THE PLACE!!!



And rocks some awesome bedhead.



Cuddling with our present that Daddy brought back from his "vacation".  

Linking up with Jeanette!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)

I've debated writing an actual post over this but I've found that posting things of this nature helps to keep me accountable.  I've also enjoyed the relationships that I've made through blogging the last few years so I just didn't want to disappear!

I'm taking a short break from blogging.  On the outside it will look like I'm still around.  I have some posts lined up for the next couple of weeks.  And I do plan to get on to post Reed's 11 month update.  But other than that I'm taking a break.

I'm getting ready to teach a session at our church retreat on social media so in some ways this was a perfect time to do a social media "fast".  More important however is that I really feel this is what I need to be doing.  I want to focus my time for the next couple of weeks on my faith, my family and eating the right food!

I fully intend to come back to blogging but I'm not sure in what capacity.  I love blogging.  It's an opportunity to be creative.  It's fun to build relationships and share my babies with my friends and family who are miles away.  But it also has the potential to be a HUGE stumbling block.

Blogging...facebook...social media in general.  They all tend to bring out the "best" in us.  We post all the special crafts we're doing with our kiddos, the amazing recipes that are coming out of our kitchen and only the pictures that are in focus.  And not that you need me to tell you this, but life isn't like that.  You see a tiny portion of our lives on my blog.  You don't see me on the days when I haven't showered...because honestly who wants to see a WIWW post when my hair is greasy and I haven't brushed my teeth?  You don't see all the times that the Little Guy sits in time out or the baby with a runny nose.

I've been planning on doing this since the beginning of January and it's taken me this long to actually go through with it.  That tells me that I love my blog way too much.  In some ways it's a safe place.  I get to be me and I get to filter out everything I don't want people to know.  It doesn't mean I necessarily do that....I try to be honest and transparent....but I definitely don't post about every time I fail and clearly I can only get it together to post one "I got dressed" outfit a week.

So I'm taking a break.  I plan on getting a lot of reading done.  I plan on working on some projects. I plan on really focusing on what God is and probably has been trying to teach me since at least January when I first started to get the nudge to put the blog down for a while.

So if you are a faithful reader I hope you'll still read on and I hope you'll be around when I get back!  I really do enjoy this little space and sharing our lives with you.  You are an encouragement to me and I love hearing from you.  You can certainly reach me via email and I'll be on other forms of social media but sparingly.  Instagram is the best place to find me because it's quick and easy!

And if you want you can pray for me that I am able to discern the things that God is trying to teach me in my life right now.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WIWW--Date Night

So here I am on week two and although we did actually purchase a full length mirror, I've been in yoga pants since we hung it up. Soooo...

Friday night was a long awaited date night! We ate at a local Italian restaurant and enjoyed a little kid free time. It was fabulous.

I was pretty excited about my outfit because a. Hello emerald green pants B. my two year old picked out my shoes, and C. I bought this shirt forever ago and it finally fits!

Isn't this watch great? I bought it while my husband was overseas for 6 months so I would know what time it was there. Now I set it to EST since that is where my family lives.

New goal....actually use my new mirror!!

Pants--Michael Kors
Shirt & Tank--LOFT
Watch--Urban Outfitters
Earrings--Handpicked
Necklace--Happy Days by Wifeysinger
Shoes--Nine West






Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Long (Too Long) Journey

It's Day 2 of my "In It to Win It" surge to finish this weight loss journey that I've been on....oh forever.  I post about my struggle with weight back in June of 2011.  I was excited about the progress I was making with my personal trainer in Charleston and the goal of losing all of my first pregnancy weight was in sight.

And then we moved.

And I got pregnant.

And huge.

And had to start all over.

Thankfully the journey has been much more fun this time.  I've found a method of working out that I love.  I've discovered that I CAN eat healthy and that I have way more willpower than I thought I did.  In September I chronicled my Whole 30 journey  and then I got stuck.  I let the fast pace of life suck me into the "we'll just get pizza this one night" or "it's my birthday I want to splurge" or "Peter is gone and I've been cleaning up puke for a week I need a bowl of ice cream...or seven" and I just got stuck.  Thankfully I've been able to maintain what I had lost already and even lose a tiny bit more.  But I'm ready to finish off this battle!!

So I'm back to the Whole 30.  This time it's Whole 30 M-Friday at lunch and Paleo on the weekends.  There isn't too much of a difference but I can make a few "treats" using honey or other natural sweeteners that I can't do while on Whole 30.  It's a good compromise for me and I'm sticking with it until I reach my goal!

I'll be posting a few more recipes over the next couple of weeks and hopefully by Reed's birthday I'll have an awesome update for you!

If you are on a weight loss journey I'd love to hear your story!!

One Sixth

Well we are already one sixth of the way through this year.  I can't decide if saying it like that makes me feel like I have less or more time left.  Regardless it's time for an update on what I've been reading or not been reading!



Great book.  Sad and really thought provoking.  Easy to read as far as readability but hard story to digest.  I highly suggest it!

I am almost finished with



This book deserves it's own blog post to tell what I've thought about it so I'll save it for that.  That being said I do recommend it and have gotten a lot out of it so far.



Partway through this one.  Reading it again because I love it and I think I need to.



Finished this.  It was an easy read and hard to put down.  It was hard to read though.  Moving!



Almost finished with this.  It's motivating and a very easy read.  Plus who didn't love her on Full House?  When I was little I was so excited when people would tell me I looked like her.  I wish!



Finished this one up.  It's the last of the Anne of Green Gables series.  I've read them all twice and I'll read them again.  Love!



Almost finished with this.  Great book!  Leman is funny and practical.  Some of the concepts are being put to use in our house already!



I like anything Dobson writes and this is no exception.



Nothing to say about this one yet.  It's been hard for me to get into and I totally skipped ahead and read the end and now I'm skeptical.  Stay tuned.



Eh.  These are what Peter and I call mind candy.  Not really good for you but so easy to grab.  They aren't horrible but definitely aren't uplifting.  They were my "I can't sleep in the middle of the night so I'll read" books the past week.

I've read a little more than I thought I had but still lots to do if I want to read my goals!!

What are you reading?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies


Oh man.  This is one of those "I can only make it ever so often because I can't stop eating them" kind of recipes.

I don't bake very much.  We consume enough sugar in our house without trying.  Seriously everything has sugar in it.  Olives...pickles...peanut butter...things you wouldn't think!  When I cut sugar out for my Whole30 challenge sometimes I got frustrated when I'd find sugar in something that I was positive wouldn't have it! Greek olives?  Give me a break!

Anyway....I did bake these cookies.  And they totally supported my "I really shouldn't bake" assumption because they were gone way too quickly.  Now I do have two partners in crime but still!  I can't blame them entirely.

Coconut Oatkmeal Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
11/2 cup flour
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda

It's always a good idea to set your butter out a little before you plan to bake.  This makes it much easier to blend.  I did NOT do that when I made these and had some slight problems in the baking stage because my butter was still too chunky.  More on that in a minute.

Blend your butter and sugar.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients and bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes.

Sounds simple enough right?  For the most part it is.  However I wasn't sure whether to make little balls or flatten the cookies. The first batch I made 1-inch balls.  Oh my word.  My cookies were as big as a plate.  They spread so far and it was WAY too much dough.  So the next round I made 1/2 inch balls and then flattened them on the cookie sheet with my palm.  This made much better cookies.  

These aren't very doughy at all.  Next time I made them I plan to only use 2 cups of oats instead of 3 to see how the consistency changes.  They taste fabulous but are very easy to over-do.  I am a professional cookie over cooker.  So of course half of mine were slightly crunchy.  But it was a good crunchy and certainly didn't stop them from disappearing as I've noted!

These are such a yummy twist on traditional oatmeal cookies!  I hope you love them as much as we do!

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