Grateful Monday!

daddy daughter day

I am glad its Monday.  Our lives have been a little cray since June 23rd. I am so ready to get a workout routine down and enjoy the last 40 days of summer!  You can check out my original Grateful Monday post HERE and see why I started them and why I actually love Mondays!  I’m seriously glad its Monday!

1) I’m grateful for no schedule.  We get to do whatever we want until September 2nd.  I just want to spoil the kids with activities.  All school year long I feel like I say “hurry up”, “do your homework”, and “get ready” way way way too much.  I just want to enjoy the kids and summer without having to rush to do a thing.

fishing with girls

2) I’m grateful for my right hand guy.  He took care of the kids all weekend and did all the cooking and cleaning.  He missed them while we were gone and promised them Daddy/Daughter days while he was off.  I got to tag along and relax.  It was great.  Although, he kinda gets too serious about fishing, I mean, its just fishing.

Bonus: I’m grateful my kids aren’t so girly these days.  They played with the fishing worms more than they fished.

3) I’m grateful for the weather here. I feel like I can’t say it enough.  Its the best summer I have ever experienced and I just want to be outside all day.  With that, the “back to school” stuff needs to stay out of my view.  Its making me feel like summer is being rushed and that is not OK! You can’t rush a summer this beautiful.

What are you grateful for?




Summertime oatmeal breakfast smoothie!

summertime oatmeal smoothie

I love oatmeal.  However, I do not love eating hot things in the summertime.  I also love quick and simple breakfast meals for myself.  Granted a smoothie isn’t a meal to most people, but to me, it is.  I’m not a huge breakfast person but I gotta eat something.

I always thought oatmeal had to be cooked.  Wrong!  I found out this magical gem of knowledge..

blended oatmeal

You can throw oatmeal in the food processor or awesome blender first and add it to your smoothie!  Amazing! How did I not figure that out before? Oh yeah, I thought it had to be cooked.  I love doing this.  It adds a lot more bulk to my smoothie.  It feels like a meal and will keep me satisfied until lunch!  Just like I can’t eat soup in the summer, I can’t sit down and eat hot oatmeal either.  Its so refreshing and perfect for summer mornings.

Another great addition to my smoothie love is Cacao Nibs.  What are they? Cacao nibs are basically raw chocolate without all the sugar, milk and other flavorings added. Its the raw cacao bean before being turned into chocolate.  They give me the feeling of chocolate chips(as long as the smoothie itself is kinda sweet) without actually adding all that extra sugar and fat.   Makes my breakfast feel like dessert, yeah I’m obsessed! You can buy them HERE though my link and get $10 off your first order! Or click the picture below!

cacao nibs

Ok so the recipe..

Summertime Oatmeal Banana PB smoothie

1/2 c. blended oatmeal (if you are gluten free, make sure the oatmeal says gluten free)
1 frozen banana or fresh with ice cubes
8 oz. almond milk/coconut milk or dairy milk.  (add more or less, your choice)
1-2 tbs. PB2 Powder
1/2- 1 oz. Cacao Nibs
1 tsp. local organic honey (help them allergies!)
Optional: Chia seeds and or flax seeds, I do it all!

Blend oatmeal first and then throw it all in there!  I downed mine this morning in about 5 minutes.  It was really delicious!

Happy Smoothie Drinking!

Grateful Monday!

I’m so glad its Monday!  As sad as it will be to leave “home”, I am ready to get back to our home and back to the husband.  I miss him, the kids miss him and I’m starting to feel bad he hasn’t seen the kids in so long, its killing him.

Its incredibly easy to write my Grateful Monday post today. I’m grateful for just that!

sick baby

1) I’m grateful for my children’s health.  I have always had healthy kids.  Gracie scared the living crap out of me on Sunday and ended up with a trip to the E.R.  Poor girl has had a fever since Thursday, hasn’t been acting like herself but no real other symptoms.  She woke up from her nap crying, couldn’t talk, couldn’t actually fully wake up, and was seizing her legs.  Not being able to get you child to “come to” is so scary.  I hate being scared as it takes a lot to scare me.  After crying for 3 hours straight, tests done, blood drawn, urine tested she snapped out of it and was diagnosed with “a virus”.  Really? Gah!  I just wanted to know what was going on with my baby, I didn’t want to hear “come back if she gets worse”.  Luckily she has been grumpy but acting normal for the most part.  In the back of my mind I am still worried its something else, but for now I am so grateful she seems to be back to normal.
This fiasco also leads me to my next…

normal baby

2)  I’m grateful for my awesome family.  My mom drops everything to help me, my brother takes Charley to the water park to distract her and the husband text me every five minutes to be supportive 2,000 miles away.  In the end she is fine for the most part, but its so nice having so much help.  If everyone in my family still lived around here and weren’t just visiting, it would be hard to leave.  I know not everyone has an amazing family and I need to be more grateful more often.


3) I’m grateful friendships that have lasted forever.  Its the best feeling when you see someone once a year and its like you saw them yesterday.  This weekend I got to see two of my best friends.  We talked for hours like I still lived here.  We stayed out until 2am when the bar closed.  Not because we were drinking, but because we couldn’t stop talking.  I’m so blessed to know I don’t need to be around everyday to keep such great friendships.  3 decades.  Love it.

best friends forever


best friends

I’m grateful for back to school shopping.  I have a weird obsession with school/office supplies and it literally makes me giddy that all this crap is out right now.  No really.

What are you grateful for?

My stomach can’t live here.


If I didn’t have to eat, I think I could stay here until winter.  I can’t express how happy I am to be home around so many friends and family, but when it comes to sitting down to eat, its killing me.   My stomach can’t live here and I know I couldn’t live here again.  I swear, everything is rolled in wheat flour before it is served, even salads!  The home grown organic garden in my parents back yard isn’t quite ready to be picked yet.  I went to the local grocery store, under the “organic” sign sat organic tomatoes and onions.  That is it.  No fruit.  The other store did have apples and a few other things, but it looked like crap.  I get it, they don’t have the biggest market for it.  Gluten free hardly exists and I doubt any waitress in a 40 mile radius would know what I was talking about.  Two years ago I would have just been happy to have the home cooked meals served in a restaurant, this time around, I can’t eat a thing.

Luckily, there are so many small towns around that still believe in home grown and doing it the old fashioned way.  Not fast food, not packaged processed crap and grown on their own family farms.  They are Amish, and their lifestyle amazes me.

It was about a 40 mile drive to get to the two stores.  I hate driving, I couldn’t drive that far all the time just to get real food.

Small towns and their old charm.  They don’t make things like this anymore and  I never appreciated it when I was younger.  Its beautiful.

bloomfield iowa

Grocery shopping out of a farm!  Seems logical since that is where our food should be coming from, right?  Both stores we stopped at were Amish run.  They make everything from their own farms.  Its the cleanest eating I think I could find.  Its really amazing seeing how they operate their families and how everyone in their family has a job and this is their life.  The two stores we stopped at were a little more conventional than straight off the side of the road, but I didn’t see any of those stands, or I would of been there.

iowa farm

They had every kind of baking ingredient you could want.  There were a few Amish girls there getting all the spices they needed to start pickling some of the vegetables that were ready to be picked.  Seriously, their lifestyle amazes me and its not like they show on tv, at all.

amish baking

They also milk their own cows to make their own cheeses, they are so good.  Oh, and milk their own goats for goat cheese too. They are some hard working people.  I couldn’t work that hard to live my life so I will buy theirs.

amish store

I bought a lot things I needed to eat the rest of the week and headed to the next store down the road.

country store

It was the cutest and biggest country store I have seen.  Anything and everything you could need to live, right in the middle of no where.  No Target…how do these people live? Just kidding.  If I didn’t have to travel to all these places just to get real food, I wouldn’t mind the simple life.  It really feels like a whole other world compared to the Seattle area.

$0.25 each for home grown organic zucchini…


Have you seen the prices of zucchini in the regular stores? These suckers would of been $5 a pieces, they were huge! Zucchini bread, fried zucchini, zucchini soup..anyone want some zucchini, I was in shock and bought as many as I could eat, or think to use!

I also found home grown organic produce! Finally!  Super good prices too! $0.39 for cabbage and $0.79 for home grown tomatoes!  I might be spoiled having so many food options in Washington, but I could take these prices anytime!  All picked in the last day and brought to the market this morning.  Halleluiah!

home grown

I loaded up on things I could safely eat (gluten free) and headed “downtown” for lunch at a local(one and only restaurant around) spot for lunch.

small town iowa

That was it.  That was the entire “downtown” and it was happenin! I kinda wish the kids were with me, they would of had a learning experience.

You can tell I’m completely on the fence here.  Its so nice to be here in one aspect but so hard to be here in other ways.  I guess I will forever love being spoiled in my big city.

What is it like where you live?