Archive for March, 2012

Silent Saturday: Weekend Project

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Turning this…

into a “Mama Sanctuary”….

Be sure to¬†check back Monday to see the finished project! ūüôā

What are your weekend plans?

-Sarah

 

Make TODAY Your “Someday”!

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

I have wanted to learn how to knit for years. The beauty of colorful, soft, hand-knitted scarves, mittens, socks, and such have held my affection for as long as I can remember. Once I became a cloth diapering mama and was introduced to the splendor of woolies and longies, that was it… I had to learn to knit!

But you know how life can be…busy,¬†right? So you end up putting things such as “learn to knit” on the “to-do-someday” list. There’s always a reason why NOW isn’t the right time for things in life. Too much responsibility, limited resources, lack of time,¬†and of course¬†the grand prize excuse “not enough money”.¬†However if we¬†save¬†up our heart’s desires for someday, then what are we doing with our lives in the meantime?

After about three years of saying ‘gee I wish I knew how to knit”, I decided to become more intentional about my desire to learn. I asked around trying to find someone who knew how to knit. I checked for classes at my local craft store.¬† I stalked an old lady knitting group at a local coffee shop. I checked out books from the library. I watched youtube videos. None of these resulted in knowing how to knit…instead I got a nice¬†coffee¬†buzz and an¬†overdue library book fine.

Sometimes, perhaps most of the time, this is why items on our “to-do someday” list never get crossed off; it’s difficult to know where or how to start. Whether it’s to lose weight, start a new career, learn a new skill, develop a new hobby….whatever it may be, those first few baby steps are often the hardest. However I do believe there is value in making our desires known. Simply putting them out there into the great, vast universe is a powerful first step. So I said ‘hey world, listen up! I really want to gift a hand knitted item to a loved one this Christmas” Or actually maybe I just mentioned it to my mom? But either way I said it out loud in hopes someone was listening.

I guess someone was beacuse a few short days later while browsing facebook a friend of mine (that lives less than a mile away and I see on a frequent basis) posted a picture of an adorable little animal she knitted as a baby gift for a friend of ours. Wait, what?!? How is it possible I did not know this friend is a knitter? Of course I immediately contacted her and asked her to teach me her jedi knitting skills. Thankfully she is a patient teacher, because I am a s-l-o-w learner.

Now I know I have¬†a LONG way to go before I can legitimately call myself a knitter. And I’m well aware that accomplished knitters are laughing at the above picture showcasing my crooked, unevenly knit-stitched rows that are full of mistakes. That’s okay. I’m laughing with you! ūüôā Although truth be told I am¬†pretty happy¬†about my amateur knitting project. Because no longer do I want to learn to knit…I AM learning to knit! And lovin’ it! I¬†actually get giddy inside when I pull out my needles and ball of yarn to knit.

What¬†is on your “to-do someday” list? What’s holding you back from making TODAY your someday? Or do you have an inspirational tale to share of crossing an item off of your “to-do-someday” list? I would love to hear your thoughts/experiences! ūüôā

-Sarah

Tasty Tuesday: Raw Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

I am on day 3 of my 10 day raw vegan cleanse and I have to say this food is AMAZING! I never knew eating raw could be so delicious and EASY! In addition to the food preparation being simple, the clean up is a breeze! The only kitchen utensils I use are my blender, food processor, cutting board, and a knife. I really like not having dirty pots and pans to wash. And I am enjoying not using my stove/oven.

I wanted to share with you one of my kids’ favorite recipes from the cleanse so far. It’s for a super easy raw vegan chocolate pudding. It only has¬†FOUR¬†simple and¬†pure¬†ingredients; and much to my surprise one of the ingredients is avocado!¬†The avocado¬†gives the pudding a nice, thick creamy texture. I would have never thought to mix¬†buttery avocado into a sweet dessert¬†recipe¬†however¬†it makes for a really delicious flavor.¬†You seriously have to try it!

Here is the recipe courtesy of Vitality Ventures.

Ingredients:

3 ripe avocados

1/2 cup of raw cacao powder

3/4 cup dates that have been pre-soaked in water to soften and pits are removed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together in high. Add water to thin as needed.

You can serve over a bowl of fresh¬†berries for a¬†truly decadent treat!¬†As with many raw¬†dishes, this¬†pudding does not stay¬†fresh for very long so it’s best¬†consumed right after it’s prepared.

I am super excited about this cleanse and hope to share another favorite recipe or two from it. Here’s a¬†little¬†sample¬†of the foods I’ve enjoyed over the past three days…

“Fettuccine el Marinara” with a Kale salad (that Kale was cut fresh my garden…mmmm, so crisp!). The Fettuccine “noodles” are actually raw zucchini

Thai “Peanut” Wraps (although there was no actual peanut in it; almonds instead). This is one of my hubby’s favorite meals so far

Omega Snack Bars. These were simply scrumptious and super easy to make!

Macamadia Lemon Pepper Dip. A perfect snack when craving something crunchy and salty

And you thought I was just drinking green smoothies all day. ūüėČ Doesn’t¬†the food look so colorful and tasty?¬†Just looking at the food you can tell it’s full of vital nutrients. I am so grateful to be nourishing my body with¬†all this yummy and healing food.¬†ūüôā

Fun Statistics: In the past three days my family of five has consumed…

-15 avocaodos

-3 bunches of bananas

-2 lbs of almonds

-1 jar of almond butter

-4 bunches of kale

-5lbs of carrots

-2 pints of strawberries

and many other vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and oils!

I have been getting tons of questions about doing a cleanse, so I will put together a FAQ post once I complete the entire 10 days of the cleanse. In the meantime if you have any questions about it feel free to post comments here or shoot me an email at sarah@momsmilkboutique.com. I always love hearing from readers!

Happy, healthy eating everyone!

-Sarah

“It’s just a phase” …

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Recently my one year old went through a difficult phase that lasted a few weeks. It involved a lot of tears, frustration, and even a few meltdowns; including one epic meltdown where I woke up my husband in the middle of the night crying about how hard the day had been. Yep, the meltdowns were mostly mine.

Now you are either wondering what in the world¬†could a one-year-old do¬†to¬†provoke me to wake up my husband in the middle of the night crying OR you are nodding your head in a “been there, done that” kind of way. My guess is many of you fall into the latter category because this mothering gig is a tough one for sure!

Now looking back on those weeks or even trying to describe them, things don’t sound all that difficult. But when we were in the thick of it, I felt completely drained, overwhelmed, and frustrated. Then I would start to feel guilty for feeling frustrated at my son. Add lack of sleep into the mix and it’s a perfect recipe for a midnight meltdown.

I tried communicating with friends or family members about what was happening and the common reply was “Oh, it’s just a phase”.¬† That phrase is frequently and non-chalantly¬†tossed out to¬†moms when¬†we share challenges we are facing with our children. While it’s usually¬†well-intentioned, it truthfully doesn’t provide us with any comfort. At all.

The thing about it is¬†we¬†know it’s just a phase. We know it won’t last forever.¬†We know¬†it will eventually end.¬†That’s the beauty of human development…it changes over time.¬†We are acutely aware of this fact. So¬†in most cases no matter how many times we¬†hear it from others (or tell ourselves) “it’s just a phase” just doesn’t help us feel any better. Why?

Because we want to know when the phase will end. We want to know how much longer we have to face this particular challenge. We want to know if there is something we can do expedite it. Or how to better cope with it.

One of the most creative and effective suggestions from a friend¬†regarding the recent challenge I had with my one year old was to play a lot of peek-a-boo games with him. Now that was something I could grasp onto and find a bit of comfort in. It was something tangible that I could do that would maybe help move this phase along.¬†Although I will admit during my midnight meltdown I did say to hubby “peek-a-boo will not¬†<insert explicit word here>¬†fix this!” (which was my first time ever using peak-a-boo and an explicit in the same sentence).¬†¬†Believe it or not, peek-a-boo and hide-n-seek DID help us through the phase. Maybe it¬†helped¬†my son¬†develop the necessary cognitive skills to move onto the next milestone or maybe it just gave us something fun to do together? Either way, that particular phase is thankfully over! ūüôā

One valuable lesson I¬†was granted¬†in all this, is the importance of providing comfort to mothers when they most desperately need it. It is so easy when another mother complains of something that you now regard as somewhat trivial¬†(because you¬†are past that¬†particular phase in parenting) to write if off as simply being “just a phase”. My friend however didn’t do that in this situation. Instead she genuinely listened to what I was struggling with (even though it was typical mom-of-a-one-year-old-who-wants-to-be-held-and-nurse-all-the-time kind of stuff) and provided a highly¬†practical strategy as a gentle suggestion. Friends and mentors like that are so important in motherhood. I hope each of you have such a friend in your life!

What unique and creative suggestion were you given to a common parenting challenge that most people wrote off as being “just a phase”?

-Sarah

Sunday Funday Giveaway: Two Thirsties DUO All in Ones

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Recently our dog ate two of our dirty cloth diapers. I know that sounds like a lame excuse to buy more diapers, but sadly¬†it’s not. My dog really is *that* gross! However I am happy to have a valid reason to purchase some new fluff!! ūüôā

You probably know by now that I’m a Thirsties gal.¬†It is¬†truly my favorite brand of cloth diapers! If you have been wanting to try one of the Thirsties diapers, now is a great time. All Thirsties products are on sale from now until April 4, 2012. You can stock up on an awesome diaper at an awesome price!!

I will be ordering two Thirsties-DUO-All-In-One in size two which fits babies 18-40 lbs or 9-36+ months. Despite my son’s recently developed skill of removing his own diaper, I’m still feeling the love for the Aplix closure. As for colors choice, I am loving the Mud and the Mango.¬†¬†In fact I am so excited about placing this order, that I thought it would make a great giveaway!

Enter this week’s giveaway to win TWO Thirsties-DUO-All-in-Ones! Winner will be announced on Sunday, April 1.
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