Favorite Recipes For the Daniel Fast

In Easy Eats, Mommyhood
Favorite Daniel Fast Recipes

Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

Last week I shared about what the Daniel fast is and why I’m doing it. If you’d like to catch up on that, you can check it out HERE. One of my biggest challenges has been just figuring out what to eat.

I’m not a picky eater by any stretch of the imagination so I’m game to eat any and all vegetables but I just don’t know what to do with them. My knowledge is basically salad and microwave steamable packages. Also, since this fast has specific food guidelines, I’m not accustom to using replacement ingredients such as tofu, dates, etc. Having a book, The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast, has been a huge help.

I tried salads at first but the dressing that I made didn’t really do much for me. I tried making things I used to eat but that were compliant with the food list and they were, well, they were terrible. So here are my list of favorite foods that actually taste great and I have on a regular bases.

Smoothies – Smoothies are life savers. With two small kids, these are quick, easy, and even they will drink one. I can pack a ton of spinach in them and not even taste it with the fruit. Adding in a nut based milk add great protein and calories. (Click on “Smoothies” to find a ton of great ideas!)

Snickerdoodle Smoothie – This is a recipe from The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast. I was skeptical at first but it said snickerdoodle so I had to try it. It’s flippin’ amazing!
The ingredient list is almond milk, silken tofu, date honey, frozen banana, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Date Honey – This is also from the same book as the snickerdoodle smoothie and is included in that recipe. What’s great about it is that it has two ingredients. Dates and cinnamon. It’s a bit time consuming to make but not labor intensive.

Oatmeal Bowl – These are great for days when you may have to go a little longer in between meals. A 1/2 cup if oats and 1 cup of water (try using almond milk for a creamier texture) in the microwave for 2 minutes (give or take depending on your microwave wattage) makes an easy and filling base for tons of toppings. I usually use the date honey to sweeten it, a scoop of natural peanut butter for protein, an extra dash of cinnamon, and some fruit on top.

Easy to Pack Snacks – Sometimes you just need a munch on something and that can be hard to do when just about every option out there has added sugar.  (This fast has seriously made question what the heck is going on in the food industry!)  Your best bet to be successful is to be prepared.  Prepackaged nuts are great and full of protein.  We bought a huge box from Costco and all that is in them are the dry roasted nuts and sea salt.

Another great snack I love are That’s It bars.  I first came across these at a Starbucks but now they are sold in more stores.  All they are is fruit…That’s It! (Get it?!)  They taste great and can help satisfy a sweet craving in a pinch.

Do you have some favorite plant-based recipes?  I’d love to try them!

(4 days to go!)

The Daniel Fast // Week 1 Reflection

In Mommyhood

Photo by David Vázquez on Unsplash

So last week I started my very first Daniel fast.  What’s a Daniel fast?  To make a long story short, it’s a spiritual fast that requires you to lean more into prayer and into your relationship with God through self discipline.  I can’t have meat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and sweeteners.  I like to think of it as a vegan whole 30.  Want the long story?  Click HERE for a more in-depth explanation and more if you’re interested in doing one yourself.

Why am I doing it?

Typically, someone starts a Daniel fast when a big decision needs to be prayed about, there is something specific you need to pray through, etc.  For me, I read about fasting for your children in my book for small group and knew that was something I needed to do.  Gav made a big change on Monday (which is why I started when I did) when he transferred to his new elementary school.

This past year has been a weird one for Gav and me and I knew that it was going to take some hard prayer to cut through this season.

What was the week like?

Let’s just say that I picked a doozy of a week to start a fast.  This first week was packed with stress, temptation, and plenty of opportunities to just say “forget it”!  On Monday, one of the parents at the dance studio brought in these absolutely delicious pumpkin loafs with brown butter icing in these perfect little ceramic loaf pans.  There was one that I could have taken home.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  My inner basic chick was screaming but I left it.

Tuesday was met with a family emergency complete with an unexpected surgery.  Running around, helping, making phone calls, and carrying a 30 pound toddler on my back while doing it was actually a great distraction from the fact that all I wanted to do was pull into a drive thru and grab some edible feelings.  Tuesday was also Halloween.  Don’t worry, I have a stash for when my 21 days is up.

Wednesday through Friday weren’t that bad and the book I ordered (same as the Daniel fast resource I linked above) came in and I was excited to explore new recipes.

Saturday was our church’s first women’s prayer gathering which was nothing short of amazing.  However, it was at 7 AM, I woke up at 5:30, and some caffeine would have been nice.

By the time Sunday came around, I was feeling a bit more confident and ready for the next week.  I have a few more choices now that I have new recipes and I’m getting pretty creative.

Let’s get real…What’s it like without coffee?

I won’t lie to you.  I got to day 3 and legitimately would have done anything for a cup of coffee.  And as much coffee as I drink for my size, it’s safe to say that my body probably craves it.  Luckily I already take medicine on and off for headaches so I just went ahead and preempted any withdrawal I might have.  I was also just plain tired.  Not quite that first trimester of pregnancy tired (mamas, you know what I’m talking about!)  but still just trying to scrape whatever I could from my energy reserves.  The tiredness did subside a bit but I still really love my coffee.

What have I noticed?

I’ve definitely started to redirect myself to prayer when I start thinking about food and the restrictiveness.  Oddly enough, I’ve become calmer, less quick to anger.  I feel better and I’m less bloated (maybe TMI but it’s true).

Most importantly, I’ve seen a change in my relationship with Gav.  Already there’s been more patience, there’s more attachment and closeness.  I know that Ro becoming a VERY active toddler means that Gavin has received less attention.  He has been told more times that I can count that he’s the big brother and he has to set the example, or that Ro is just two he doesn’t understand, or I’m simply just attending to more of Ro’s needs because he can’t do as much for himself yet.  I understand that Gavin may be feeling less and that is so not what I want for my sweet boy.  I’ve made it a point to tell him that he was wonderfully made by God and that he is special because of that.  We are reconnecting and it’s made my mama heart so happy.

Have you ever done a fast?  What did you learn?

 

 

 

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5 Things I Learned From My First Craft Show

In Uncategorized

5 things I learned from my first craft show

Last month I did my very first show as a vendor.  Let’s just get real for a second, I was STRESSED OUT.  I had no idea what to expect and, well, I’d never done one!  However, once I had the products I wanted to complete done and all my branding was ready, I felt much better.  Going into a first time experience is always nerve racking so here are a few tips I learned that I hope can help if you’re headed into your first show.

5 things I learned from my first craft show5 things I learned from my first craft show

1. Know your space.

Find out what is available to you.  Does your booth come with tables? (more than likely not)  Are there tables available to rent?  Do you need an electric outlet?  These are usually few and far between so be sure you place a request as soon as possible.

Another thing to consider is if you will be up against a wall.  If not, having a backdrop is a good way to section yourself off and give more of a shop look.  My dad made mine from PVC pipe and it worked great!

Have a layout in mind for how you’d like to set up.  If you leave your set up open, people can walk into your booth.  If you set the table in front, they can see all of your product but there will be a barrier between you and your customers.

5 things I learned from my first craft show 5 things I learned from my first craft show 5 things I learned from my first craft show 5 things I learned from my first craft show

2. Shop your house.

Having extra design elements definitely helps with the appeal of your booth.  However, if you’re like me and most work out of the home artists, you don’t really have the budget for this added expense.  All I did was go from room to room and looked for little things to pretty up my space as well as larger objects to create dimension.  Chances are, you like your own style and it will mesh well with your shop’s aesthetic.

5 things I learned from my first craft show

3. Have an email sign up list.

Whether you have one person or ten people sign it, that’s more people on your list than before!  Any traffic to your site is good traffic and this way they stay up to date with any other shows you’re doing, new products, or just random info you care to share.

I also suggest having an incentive to sign up like a giveaway.  Who doesn’t like the chance to win some free stuff?!

5 things I learned from my first craft show

4. If you do custom work, have examples.

This sounds like a real “duh” piece of advice but I honestly thought that my display with pictures would be enough.  Turns out, not so much.  People need to see something physical.  Most people just breezed right past my custom order display or hadn’t even seen it when I talked to them about custom work.

5. The first and last hour are SLOW.

It is what it is.  People are out doing family stuff on the weekends and you’ll usually get your rushes after that first hour.

5 things I learned from my first craft show

BONUS TIP: Branding is everything.  Be sure you always have your business cards on hand and your social media info visible!

I had a great time at my first show and it was a great learning experience.  Definitely looking forward to my next show in couple weeks!

 

Playing Around With pediped®

In Mommyhood

Playing Around with pediped®

*This product was given to me in exchange for my honest opinion.

If your kids are anything like my two, they can go through some shoes. Sometimes it’s because they outgrow them within the month or it’s because they play hard. Playing is serious business so my boys need shoes that can stand up to the challenge.

This is why I’m loving pediped®shoes. pediped® footwear has been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for the promotion of healthy foot development, and preeminent orthopedic medical professionals, Dr. Mininder S. Kocher and Dr. Thomas W. Vorderer, deem pediped® shoes an excellent choice for parents/caregivers who want their children’s feet to develop naturally and healthily. pediped® has received numerous industry awards and accolades including recognition from Earnshaw’s, the premier media resource serving the children’s market. In 2015 pediped® was recognized by the Footwear Industry Awards as the Children’s Footwear Brand of the Year and earned a 2016 Earnie Award from Earnshaw’s magazine as the Footwear Brand of the Year.

Playing Around with pediped®

Ro’s new shoes are definitely standing up to the toddler test. Whether he’s in soccer class or on the playground, he has the support he needs. Ro is still in that clumsy stage of toddlerhood and, let’s just be honest, he falls a lot. I’ve noticed that he’s much more in control when running around at soccer and the shoes have good traction to keep up with him.

Playing Around with pediped® Playing Around with pediped® Playing Around with pediped®

My favorite feature of these shoes is the FLEX FIT SYSTEM™.  Both Gav and Ro have wide feet. (Gav not so much now that he’s older but both come by big feet naturally between me and my husband.) This has always limited our selection when purchasing shoes for them. I was so pleased that I could pick whichever shoe I liked for Ro because width is not an issue.  The inserts come out to custom fit your child’s foot as it grows.

Playing Around with pediped®

These are some of our favorite shoes and they are definitely helping Ro as his coordination and activity mature.

*pediped® is sold in over 750 stores in the United States and 40 countries worldwide with an offering of more than 120 designs for boys and girls between its three lines, Originals®, Grip ‘n’ Go™ and Flex®. The award-winning footwear is available in EU sizes 17 to 38 (US newborn to 6 Youth). For more information, visit www.pediped.com.  LIKE on Facebook at /pedipedfootwear and follow on Twitter and Instagram @pedipedfootwear.

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Label All The Things With Stuck On You

In Mommyhood

Stuck On You Labels

*I received these products in exchange for review.  The opinions expressed are my own.*

When you have kiddos, things get lost. It happens all the time because, well, mom brain and kids can forget they were wearing shoes in about 5 minutes. Between church, school, and after school activities, there are plenty opportunities to leave something behind. Enter Stuck on You labels!

Stuck On You Labels

Australia based Stuck On You was founded in 1995 by Carrie Felton, a mom of three boys.  A global leader in personalized products for baby & beyond, Stuck On You products are available in more than 127 countries.  Felton created Stuck On You to celebrate the individuality of every name, bring joy to new parents with unique, timeless products for every child, save families time, energy and money and help them to lead a more organized life.  In addition to a broad offering of labels, the Stuck On You collection includes activity and personalized books, durable and stylish bags, lunchboxes and drink bottles, stationery, bag tags and gorgeous gifts for all ages.

Stuck On You Labels

These labels are great for anything and everything you could ever want to put your kid’s name on. There is a size for any space you made need to stick one. My favorite thing to label are the boys’ water bottles. Gav leaves his behind at school from time to time and both the boys go to soccer on Saturdays so it’s good to have them labeled. Both places have water bottles EVERYWHERE and now I don’t have to wonder if the Spiderman one in the lost and found is my child’s or I should just buy a new one. These labels also hold up in the dishwasher so you don’t have to constantly replace them.

Stuck On You Labels

I love the variety of colors and images they have and I feel like they fit my boys’ current interests and personality.  Gav is growing up (insert mama tears) so, while he still love cars, he’s also developed an interest for sports.  With Ro’s, I love the bright primary colors.

Stuck On You Labels

I’m loving organizing all of Gav and Ro’s stuff and now I don’t have to worry about that dreaded lost and found bin anymore!

Find out more about Stuck On You and their products: Facebook//Instagram//Twitter

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Roman’s Birthday Time Capsule

In Mommyhood

Roman's Birthday Time Capsule

We are finally at part 3 of Roman’s second birthday party.  Today I want to share with you our little disclaimer from our invitation.

Roman's Birthday Time Capsule

You read that right.  We asked for no gifts. (I am also proud to tell you that I wrote that.  *pats self on back*)

To be completely honest, I have to tell you two things.  One, the original letter idea is not mine, I took it from my neighbors who did the same for their 2 and 3 year old.  Two, I was a little self conscious when I sent these out.  I’m not one to go against the grain or tell people what we do or don’t want for our child.  I mean, if I could, I would put *no toys that make any noise, ever* on every invitation and card and I know I’m not alone in wanting to do that!  But, I’m a stickler for tradition and pleasantries and this was (pardon my pun) pushing the envelope for me.  However, I just loved this idea and figured that Ro is still young enough that he doesn’t fully comprehend what it means to have a birthday.

Roman's Birthday Time Capsule

Another reason I loved this idea, less stuff.  I’ll say it, my kids are spoiled.  Not by my husband and me, though.  They want for nothing and get just about everything they ask for, especially when the grandmas and my aunt are around.  Ro loves to play with Gav’s toys and look at his books, he has a ton of Gav’s hand me downs that are in great condition (some how), so there wasn’t anything he truly needed.  This was pretty much my only opportunity to do this.

Roman's Birthday Time CapsuleRoman's Birthday Time Capsule

Once all of the letters are in, still waiting on a few, we’ll seal it up and keep it somewhere safe.  I wrote mine this past Saturday night and had to hold back the crocodile mama tears.   Just thinking about him reading my words in the future, probably standing much taller than me, just grabbed at my heart.  I am so so glad we did this for him.  We’re also adding a few extra items that are special like his invitation and cake topper.

Roman's Birthday Time Capsule

And, last but not least, I have mention that grandparents and other family can’t help themselves.  Ro did receive a few gifts.  They were perfect and he loves them! I love how much they love these boys!

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Space Party Photo Booth

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Space themed party photo booth

Welcome to part two of Ro’s second birthday party, the photo booth!  I love photo booths.  Call them cliche, call them basic, I don’t care because they are so much fun.  Whether they’re full of props or just a place to document who was there, I think a photo booth is a always great idea.

The hardest part of all of this was definitely getting the little ones to cooperate.  But you do the best you can with what you’ve got which is why the picture of both my boys is Gav with a helmet on from bike riding and Ro trying desperately to get the sunglasses to go on his face.  For my props, I found a few things round the house (i.e. the gold frame and left over party favor glasses).

Space themed party photo booth

To make the back drop, I took two black tri-fold presentation boards, wrote on the top, and splattered both with white paint. I stuck them to our car port wall with some command picture hanging strips and they held up for the entire party.

Space themed party photo booth

 

 

 

 

Space themed party photo boothOne of my props was a chalkboard that brave guests could fill in with how many times they’ve been around the sun.  Go figure, two of our oldest guests were more than happy to share!   For the most part though, guests really just had fun taking pictures with their loved ones.  ENJOY!

Space themed party photo booth Space themed party photo booth Space themed party photo boothSpace themed party photo booth Space themed party photo booth Space themed party photo boothSpace themed party photo booth Space themed party photo boothNext up is part three, the special note we added in our inviation. I’m so excited about this and can’t wait to share!

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Roman’s 2nd Trip Around The Sun (Part One)

In DIY, Mommyhood

Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun

It’s almost surreal to think that just a little over 2 years ago I was sharing my pregnancy journey with little Ro.  Now he’s a big boy two year old.  And I do mean big!  We just had his check up and we’re up there in the percentiles.

We had so much fun celebrating him this past Saturday with a sun, moon, and stars themed party.  I especially loved planning this one because black and gold are two of my favorite colors and this party had a ton of both!  Be sure to scroll to the bottom for details on where you can find some of the decorations.  ENJOY!

THE FOOD

Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a sucker for a good themed party.  This one was no different and I had fun coming up with names for the food.  We kept it very simple, mainly foods that toddlers would enjoy with one or two added for the grown ups.

Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun

A quick side note on the pasta salad: I had originally wanted THESE NOODLES but the store I’ve bought them at before no longer carries them.  Needless to say, I was devastated (first world problems, I know) but improvised with some shells as moon craters.

Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun

Hubby recently got a new grill as a present so he was more than happy to take care of the hot dogs.  Definitely way better than boiling or nuking them!

 

THE CAKE

THE ACTIVITIES We had special sprinkles and icing for the kiddos to decorate cookies.  Turns out this only works for onlder kids, but they had fun! Spaceship decorate it was a big hit!  I took a large shipping box and cut here and there to create the body of the rocket.  Washable makers and paint for decorating and let the kiddos go crazy!  My boys love playing in it even after the party. THE ACTIVITIES We had special sprinkles and icing for the kiddos to decorate cookies.  Turns out this only works for onlder kids, but they had fun! Spaceship decorate it was a big hit!  I took a large shipping box and cut here and there to create the body of the rocket.  Washable makers and paint for decorating and let the kiddos go crazy!  My boys love playing in it even after the party.

In keeping with the times, I call this one my eclipse cake.  It’s alternating layers of chocolate and yellow cake (from a box cuz this mama didn’t quite feel up to making it from scratch) and regular white icing.  To get the pearlescent/metallic look, I used shimmer spray (can be bought at Walmart in the baking section).  Crumbled rock candy and Milky Way bars made for great, not to mention delicious, garnish.

THE ACTIVITIES

Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun

COOKIE DECORATING

We had special sprinkles and icing for the kiddos to decorate cookies.  Turns out this is best suited for older kids, but they had fun!

Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun

Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun

This was a big hit!  I took a large shipping box and cut here and there to create the body of the rocket.  Washable makers and paint for decorating and let the kiddos go crazy!

Roman's 2nd Trip Around The SunRoman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun

My boys love playing in it even after the party.

 

THE FAVORS

Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roman's 2nd Trip Around The Sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did some traditional bags with sunglasses, glow bracelets, and on-theme treats (moon pies, star crunches, and Milky Ways).  Then I found these fun moon rocks on Pinterest.  All you have to do is wrap trinkets and candy into layers of aluminum foil.

Roman's 2nd Trip Around The SunThe kids loved unwrapping them and finding little surprises as they went.  Since we had a much younger crowd, I kept them in a container but I had originally thought it would be fun to do a moon rock hunt!  With older party guests, that would definitely be a highlight.

Want to throw your our spacey party?  Here are some details:

Balloon Tassels, Star Danglers, Tassel Garland – Walmart

Black and Silver Balloons – Walmart

Gold Confetti Balloons – Pretty Cute Cuts

Name and “2” cake toppers – Gav and Ro

Ro’s Shirt – Made by your’s truly

Stay tuned for part II, the photo booth!

 

 

 

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10 Things I’ve Learned Since Having Boys

In Mommyhood

10 Things I've Learned Having Boys

Becoming a parent is nothing short of amazing.  As much as it’s tiring, can make you irritable, and can make situations harder, it’s so rewarding.  Literally just having my boys ask for me or miss me, is all the reward I need.  It means I’m needed, that I’m doing a good enough job for them to want to be around me, and that they may not need counseling after all! Just kidding…kinda.  But there are a few things that I never really knew about having boys that would make my parenting experience so different from what I imagined.Continue reading

Free “I Love You…” Printable

In Freebies

Y’all….I’m back!  After being in full on panic mode that my site was suddenly inaccessible on any server, I’m back!  A call to tech support and an agonizing 20 minute wait (yes, agonizing) for everything to fix itself, and we’re back in business.

Free I Love You Printable

To celebrate, I thought I’d post a freebie!  I posted that picture on Instagram yesterday and I got such a great response on the quote.  I decided to turn it into a print that you can download and print for your own gallery wall!  They are available to print as 8×10, 5×7, and 4×6 with a white or black background.  Just click the picture below to take you to the download. Free I Love You Printable

 

 

 

ENJOY!

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