not good for you, but oh so good

 If you haven’t registered yet, check out this week’s awesome iPhone 5 waterproof/shockproof case giveaway!

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Someone asked for dessert the other night.  I’m not saying who, but he might be married to Abby. 😮

But Abby and I didn’t have anything prepared.

So we improvised (aka, looked at the ingredients we had handy and then went to the internet to google funnel cake).

Enter Paula Deen.

Or rather (since Paula Deen didn’t come knocking at the door), check out this crazy easy recipe from Paula Deen for funnel cakes.

Not going to lie to you … this recipe is not a “healthy” one.

But wow.

Even with our pathetic attempts to make it less bad [we swapped out whatever oil she uses for frying (it was not specified) coconut oil, used organic flour, raw milk, pastured butter, aluminum free baking soda, sea salt and organic powdered sugar], it’s not a healthful dessert.  But it is easy and delicious and definitely Pin-worthy.

We did make a few notable changes to her process.

This is what we did:

Melt about a cup of Coconut Oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan.

Follow her directions to mix the wet ingredients (milk, egg and vanilla) in one bowl.  The dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, sugar in another).  Combine (in batches).  Then fold in the melted butter.

This is where we switched things up.

We didn’t have a funnel handy, so when the oil was hot hot (if you sprinkle the tiniest bit of water in the oil and it sizzles, it’s hot hot!), we poured a quarter cup of batter into a sandwich-size baggie, snipped the end and  created a swirly confection in the oil.

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Then back to Ms. Deen’s recipe.  Let it cook for 2-3 minutes, then using tongs, turn it over and cook for one more minute.  Remove from the oil (we put it on a paper towel to drain some of the oil.)  Turned it over again.  Put it on a serving plate and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

OH … EM … GEE.

Dangerously delicious.

Dangerously easy.

That’s O’Mamas … we’re dangerous.

xo,

Jeanne & Abby

 

 

protecting our kids

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Abby here.

One of the most stressful parts of parenting to me is knowing when (and when not) to protect my kids. I do my very best to give them their freedom and they love it when I do.  At ages 2 and 4, it’s already obvious they don’t want to be hovered over.  It’s good though.  I want them to have the freedom to make mistakes, get bumps and bruises and learn to make decisions.  I want them to make friends, and talk about Spiderman and dirt and farts (and whatever else 4 year old boys talk about) without me listening in on their every word.

In fact, just the other night at a party, my son came running out of the bounce house to me.  He said.. and I quote… “Mom, all the boys in there are really wrestling and having fun.  I know it’s not nice to push each other, but I really want to.”  Judge away, but I told him to go for it.  I think the fun and adventure with boys his age is worth the risk of a black eye or even a broken arm.

But then there is the other side of protecting your kids.  The side where this world is a crazy place and people are just plain cruel.  Please please please do yourself a favor and read this post from Matt Walsh.  Here’s a snipet…

It often works differently nowadays. We shield kids from the difficult things. We run from anything that might carry with it the slightest suggestion of death or finitude. We don’t even let kids watch war movies or play with toy guns. We feel squeamish about bringing them to grandma’s funeral. We certainly don’t make them work or sweat or earn anything — in fact, the law forbids it. They aren’t given any real responsibilities; no weight is put on their shoulders, figuratively or literally. They are protected from the challenges of Real Life, and sometimes they stay in that protective cocoon well into their 30′s.

Yet, we haven’t succeeded in protecting their innocence. More than 50 percent of all children are exposed to hardcore pornography before the age of eleven. Eleven. By thirteen, the vast majority have seen it; many of them are full-on addicts. Meanwhile, schools are giving kids condom demonstrations, and the FDA is making sure your 15 year old daughter can get her hands on the Morning After Pill without your consent. Everywhere your child turns, he is assaulted with sex, perversion and nihilism. Your 12 year old son can sit at a computer, open a browser, punch in a few key words, and plunge right into a world of depravity, debauchery and darkness.

I’ve re-read this article 3 times with a heavy heart, but I’m thankful for the reminder that I owe no-one an excuse for wanting to protect my kids.

baby wants a dragon… he gets a dragon

In an effort to be more festive about the holidays, I’ve made sure we’ve done all things pumpkin related this October.

To be honest, Halloween is my least favorite holiday. No reason too specific… you just won’t find me decorating the mantle with cob webs and plastic spiders. But now I’ve got these 2 little boys now, and one four year old in particular who is all about this upcoming Halloween.

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Pardon the unpainted door frame.  Front porch currently under construction.

When it came time to carve, he wasn’t satisfied with a standard smiley face pumpkin, and needed something “much scarier” like a dragon.

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We googled around and found a basic template to carve a dragon  I think all in all we did pretty darn good.

But then for the best part:

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I’ve always had an unnatural obsession with these things. While it takes a bit of work, you’ll never find me throwing out a pumpkin without salvaging the seeds first.

The pulp situation might tempt you to skip making these all together, but I’ve found soaking the seeds and pulp in water helps move the process along.  And also don’t stress to much if it isn’t perfect. A little pulp never hurt anyone.

Roasted pumpkin seeds:

  • In small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon salt with 1.5 cups of washed and dried pumpkin seeds.
  • Spread on glass baking dish, sprinkle with salt and bake for 45(ish) minutes at 375.
  • Every 15 minutes, use the spatula to turn the seeds.
  • Done!  Now go enjoy your pumpkin seeds!

Happy Weekend

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For the first time in the history of mankind, I spent an hour this Saturday morning sitting by the fire eating waffles and watching a cooking show… BY MYSELF! I’m still not sure how it happened.

We’ve got some snow in the forecast, so we’re planning on bundling up and enjoying some pumpkin patches and hay mazes while we can.

As usual, we thought we’d wrap up the week with a recap what’s been happening. Admittedly, things were a little slow around here as Jeanne and I both had pretty demanding weeks.

Most Read: Running in the Winter (aka a giveaway from AT&T you won’t want to miss). We have about 48 hours left, and it’s super easy to enter.

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Most Pinned: Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk.  Honestly, this is one of our most pinned recipes every week.  It’s Jeanne’s recipe, so I guess it’s about time I make some!

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Around the web: All about Gavin’s Nutrition from Chasing Rainbows.  I posted this on our Facebook page this week, but I think it’s worth sharing again.  I’ve been following Kate’s blog since the day she lost her 5 year old son, turned 43 and found out she was unexpectedly pregnant… all in one day.  Quite the day, huh?  She writes with such vulnerability, and I enjoy reading every post she writes.

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Featured:  Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.  We shared these tasty treats over at Modern Alternative Kitchen this week.  Trust me… these are amazing!

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Just for fun: Idolizing Miley from Momastery. I’ve read a ton of great articles on protecting our kids from the over sexualization of our culture.  This one… might be the first one that makes me chuckle.

miley-cyrus-had-the-craziest-performance-of-the-vmasPhoto: Business Insider

Enjoy your weekend!!

weekend update

And the winner of our well-loved Ergo Standard Baby Carrier is …

LINDSEY MILLER!!!

Congratulations, Lindsey!  Please email us your mailing address so we can send you your Ergo!

happy weekend 3I don’t know what happened to Fall, but it seems to have slipped out of the calendar this year.  Because just like THAT, it’s Winter here in Montana.

Which means we have to worry about snowsuits, snowshoes, hats and catching up to all those running noses … probably why our most PINNED and SHARED posts this week were …

6 natural ways to fight the flu

and

6 MORE natural ways to fight the flu

But our most read?  Our most read post was Abby’s first heartfelt story in her series …

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And one of our favorite (okay … it’s just the one that made us cry) post we read on the WWW this week is from Rage Against the Minivan … What I Want You to Know About Birth Mothers

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And then, of course, there’s the recipe by another blogger that we just can’t wait to attempt:  Nanaimo Bars … until we read Jody’s post we had no idea these even existed!

Jody (the incredible real food blogger from our home town of Bozeman) describes it this way: “It’s a dessert bar of Canadian oigin, consisting of a chocolate coconut cookie crumb crust, and vanilla custard filling, topped with a chocolate ganache. It really is…heaven in a bar.”

Ummmm … YES PLEASE!!!!  Count us in.

nanaimo1Hope you all have a wonderful weekend …

By the way, if you’ve got recipes you think we should try … add ’em to the comments of today’s post and we’ll post a little “contest” on Facebook.  We’ll make the one with the most likes and feature it right here!

xo,

Jeanne & Abby

31 things: Mama’s from Texas

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I’m back on board with The Nester’s 31 Day Challenge. I missed yesterday, and there’s a good chance I’ll miss many more. I’m alright with that, though!

Today, the third of October, we had our first big snow. I can honesty say that this is the first year I haven’t dreaded it.

What I want my boys to know is:  Mama is from Texas. My idea of outdoor recreation used to be floating in the river with a cold drink in hand. Once in high school we got ONE inch of snow, and school was cancelled for 3 days.

I laugh at that now when I pass the elementary school down the road, and the kids are having recess in snow boots and ski gloves. Soon enough my boys will be doing the same thing, and they’ll never know any different.

This whole cold weather and snow thing is in their blood.

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True story… my oldest got bundled up and headed outside as soon as he could today and kept saying “I’m just so, so, so happy Mom!”. The kid LOVES the cold weather. In fact, the only time he ever complains about the temp is in the summer when it is “so hot” at a whopping 80 degrees. When we head to Texas to see family… forget it… the kid hardly wants to step outside.

It’s true my boys have changed me. Because they love the snow, it feels like I love the snow.

We’ve taken the plunge and made sure they have good snow gear, and that had made a world of difference. It softens the blow that I only have to buy the things once and then they will be passed down to my 2 year old.

Jeanne always says (not sure who she heard it from) there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. I must say I’m beginning to agree (unless of course it’s negative 20… Then you’ll find me curled under a warm blanket with hot tea by the fire).

Until tomorrow,
Abby

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31 things: Your sister

I’ve decided to jump on board and join The Nester’s 31 day Challenge and share a new post every day this month.

While we generally write about all things health and wellness here, I thought it might be a fun venture (for me) to change it up a bit.

Each day this month, I’m sharing something that I want my boys to know about me. Things about their mama that have made me who I am today… places I’ve traveled, experiences I’ve been through and people I’ve met along the way. The plan is to print these out at the end of the month and stash copies in each one of my boys’ “baby books” (the second child’s is COMPLETELY empty, so at least this will be something in it).

20131001-221924.jpg So today, day one, I’m wanting my boys to know about their sister.

Right around my first kid’s first birthday, we were super surprised to find out we were pregnant.

After getting to see the little one in an ultrasound at about 10 weeks, it really started to sink it. It was a joy to think of my boy having another sibling so close in age.  I have many friends with kids super close in age, and I’ve always thought it’d be neat.

The next 6 weeks were a weird time as I knew I was pregnant, I was thrilled to be pregnant, yet I didn’t feel pregnant.

I’ll fast forward through the sad, scary details and say that on the Fourth of July, three years ago, I miscarried our little one. I was 16 weeks pregnant, and have strong reasons to believe our baby was a little girl.

It’s strange to lose something you never felt you really had. It’s been my main glimpse of grief here on this Earth.

What I want my boys to know, is although we won’t meet her here on Earth, they have a beautiful little sister safe and whole in Heaven.

I want my boys to know that sometimes in life things will happen that you never expected to happen to you. It’s easy to float along sometimes feeling like you’re invisible from the pain and sadness in this world… until something hits you like a ton of bricks.

It’ll happen.  It’s bound to.

And while I don’t believe in living in fear of the unknown, I want my boys to be aware that many of the people we see every day are hurting. Be kind to people. Love on people. Be generous.

It’s good to remind myself of this, too. Everyone has a story, and you never really know how your positive word or action might be a glimmer of hope in someone’s day.

I do often wonder what she would have looked like. Both my boys have great heads of hair, so I imagine she’d have the same.  I’m not a girly girl, but I can imagine dresses galore.

My friend who recently lost a child said that losing her son has made her less scared of death. Although my situation is much different, I resonate with that.

I want my kids to know that sometimes life will be confusing, and that’s okay.  It’s confusing to have the pain of losing a child, lumped in with the tremendous joy of the child who was born after her.  I’m assuming parents who’ve gone through this know what I mean.

Once my boys are a little older, I look forward to them knowing more about their sister, what we named her and the impact she’s had on their mama.

Until tomorrow, Abby

happy weekend!

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I don’t know about you but … what a week!

With grey skies, threats of snow, battling colds and earaches, bone broths, crackers, laundry (why can’t I keep up with the laundry?), dishes, ballet (for Jeanne’s little), soccer (for Abby’s), lessons … life …

It was a week filled with life.

To quote an ancient Sanskrit poem:

Look well to this day for it is life …

the very life of life!

In its brief course lie all the realitites and truths of existence…

the joy of growth!

the splendor of action!

the glory of power!

For yesterday is but a memory,

and tomorrow is only a vision

But today, well lived,

makes every yesterday a memory of happiness

and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day.

So with that in mind … here’s our weekly round up:

Our most pinned post of the week… homemade almond nutella

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Most read post of the week…the kindergarten quandary.  (Thank you, everyone, for the incredibly thoughtful responses for which we were humbled and appreciative!)

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A must read … from Northern Mum about why forward facing baby carriers might not be a great idea.

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(I watched this and cried … we are so lucky … we had one and used it a LOT with our first and I am thankful every day that this didn’t happen to her little hips.)

PS, I have a gently used Ergo Baby Carrier that we are going to GIVEAWAY!  Check on Monday for the ins and outs for your chance to take home a great carrier (including infant insert … if I can find it in storage 🙂 that made all the difference in the world … for me and our little guy 🙂

how to naturally get rid of ear infections… fast!

photo-29This week my entire family came down with a minor cold that left us functional, but groggy, for a few days.

I made chicken soup with bone broth twice, we doubled up on probiotics, the boys and I drank a bit more kombucha than normal and the grown-ups helped ourselves to oregano oil. These things are our go-to’s when we get sick, and always help us knock things out pretty quickly.

It seemed we were on the mend until Tuesday night when my 2 year old hardly slept a wink. The poor guy ended up in bed with us, and tossed and turned, seeming so uncomfortable, all night.

It wasn’t until the next morning when we were all a bit more human awake that I realized my boy had a major ear ache.

I will say, life is so much easier once your kids can communicate. When I asked what hurt he would say “ear owe-ee” in the most pitiful voice ever. Super sad? Yes. Super helpful? Yes.

In general, we deal with most ailments and sicknesses at home with natural remedies within a few days. It’s a rare occasion for us to head to the doctor, but I’m so thankful to have a wonderful pediatric naturopath here in town who sees us when we need him.

I was tempted to call him, but decided to administer some garlic oil in his ears first. He was in a lot of pain, so wasn’t up for laying on his side for a solid 30 seconds so I could put in the drops.

My garlic oil didn’t smell very potent, so I headed to the co-op in hopes of finding something a bit stronger. Thankfully, I came across this Mullein Garlic Oil, which I will from here on out refer to as Magic Juice.

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I got home, and my husband helped me hold our son down (it was a bit dramatic), and I placed 2 drops in the ear. We kept him on his side for 30 seconds for it get down his ear canal.

Within 5 minutes he was crashed out on me for a solid hour.

When he woke up, he was fever free and showing zero signs of an ear infection.

No pain, no tears, no tugging on his ears…. see what I mean when I say Magic Juice?

So while I could try my hand again at some homemade garlic oil, I’m happy to invest the $10 dollars in something that worked to quickly effectively.  Considering my kids haven’t had many ear infections in the past, this bottle will last us well over a year.

Here are a few links from our Amazon store of natural (affordable) supplements we use often to ward off sickness.  We keep these things stocked in our cupboards, and consider them a great investment… way cheaper than several doctors visits.

I hope you find this helpful, and know that I was blown away with how fast this Mullein Garlic Oil worked.

Cheers to not wasting winter being sick indoors!

-Abby