Happy Monday: Coming out of our cocoon!

Hello Everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. My daffodils are so vibrant and yellow just makes me smile every time I see it. With these warm temperatures arriving and our deck prepped, I feel like we are finally coming out of our winter cocoon! Spring is in the air or should I say summer is in the air over here. This past weekend we had great temps and tomorrow through the end of this week we are going to have seasonably high temps in the upper 70s, low 80s!! Since I knew this week would be warm, Leao and I took the time to clean out our garage and de-winterize our deck. It’s a three-season deck and in the winter we put a tarp on the sides to keep some of the blowing snow out and then we move all of the furniture and grill to the side and throw tarps over it.  So we spent all-day Saturday cleaning up the deck and re-installing all of the blinds.  I didn’t put the seat cushions out because I knew today would be rainy. But tomorrow, I will and will spend my work day on my deck. So from this point until early winter, I spend much of my time on our deck, working, reading, sleeping, eating and playing games with my family. So I am in such a happy mood because I look forward to being outside after a long and hard winter.

We hired our new landscaper to do a spring clean up and grass fertilization for our property and I have to say that it was truly money well spent. This time a year, I usually clean up the yard in phases. I do one side at a time and I have to say, I have never seen it this tidy when I have done it in the past. But my back is definitely so grateful that we hired help.  So now I can start planning my garden. I don’t think I am going to do any seeds in the house this year, I will direct sow some but will only work with plants for the rest of my garden. So the fun begins!! No planting yet, just planning as a “New Englander” I know you can’t quite rely on the sudden heat. We could have a frost any moment so I err on the side of caution and patiently wait to begin planting.

A major milestone occurred this weekend, Apollo surprised me and rode his bike for the first time on Saturday. Each year, I tried to encourage my boys to learn to ride and they try and then quickly lose interest after a fall. But on Saturday, when Apollo saw his bike in the garage while I was cleaning something just clicked for him. Then he sat on it and found his helmet (which surprisingly fit!) and said he would like to ride it. So as Leao and I were moving stuff out to toss in the trash, he zoomed by us on his bike. A little wobbly but all on his own. Wow! the moment you always dream about right before our eyes. It never gets old. Since I am one for not forcing them to do things that they express that they don’t want, there are some things they can not do just yet and bike riding is one. So this turn of events produced the biggest joy in my heart.  Leao took his bike to our rear driveway (where we don’t have to worry about cars) and let him try again and he did it! I am so happy for him because I remember how I felt when I learned to ride my bike. It was that new independence that came with it that made it so sweet. So bike trails are in our future. Yay! Well, I am off for now.

Have a blessed day!

Belinda

Happy Black History Month 2018

Hello everyone and happy Friday! The sun is peeking out while I type which is making me smile. It’s been cloudy all morning so this bit of reprieve is welcome.  I also wanted to say Happy Black History Month! I am so excited for the month. I have been compiling a list of possible book options to read in honor of Black History Month and will be sure to share a review when I complete any of them. I am also on the hunt for television specials. It seems harder to find them but I usually search online on networks like PBS or HBO to find out what the line up for the month so I can plan on recording them. Since we all know, I rarely watch anything live.

I will also be creating some craft projects to celebrate Black History Month. I am going to hunt down some free coloring pages online to color with my color pencils. And of course, I will be locating a book or two to read with Apollo. Nick has been reading a lot of relevant items at his new school. I will also pull out some documentaries that I own and play them for us to watch.  I will also seek out local events or author talks to check out.

Are you doing anything special for Black History Month?

Have a blessed weekend!

Belinda

Happy Monday!

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Good morning!! How are you today? Are you feeling happy or dragging about just a bit?  Despite a scare this weekend with my mother-in-law, I am feeling really peppy. Almost annoyingly so. I have my instrumental holiday music playing today at work and that and my tea has me in a good mood.

As I mentioned, my mother-in-law gave us quite a scare this weekend. She experienced really high blood pressure along with a few other symptoms that led her to the emergency room.  She’s home now, feeling better and I am scheduling some follow-up appointments for her to ensure her well-being. She is a pretty healthy woman so this took us all by surprise. Yesterday I bought groceries and we went over and cooked dinner and spent time with her and my father-in-law. I’d like to think my cooking was the magic but the grand kids seem to cure all.  I am really excited for her because in a few weeks, she will be flying to Florida to spend the holiday with our family out there and she will get to yum up her other grand kids. So there’s some more medicine for the soul coming her way!

I also spent Saturday with my crafty girlfriends (Ashley you were missed!) and eating homemade soups, and of course major desserts was great fun. I primarily worked on my faith journal. I will have to take some pictures to share with you. It’s a fun art journal I created to contain great quotes from the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I also have one I use with quotes from my spiritual studies. It’s a fun visual way to place these words in front of me more often.

Today I need to chug away at more Chirstmas cards. This is the latest I have been at getting them out! I am only hand making a few and the rest are boxed cards but I still have managed to let it slip! Oh well.

By the way, the photograph above is of Jingle our Elf on the Shelf and yesterday he sat on top or our mini tree in the kitchen and Leao thinks he might not choose this location again from the splinters in his butt!

I am off to get some work done! Have a blessed day my friends.

Belinda

 

Wellness Wednesday: Let’s talk Coconut flour

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While wandering the cookbook aisle at my local library about two months ago, I came across this amazing little cookbook, The Healthy Coconut Flour Cookbook by Erica Herwien. I loved all the photos on the cover and then I read that it contained more than 100 grain-free, gluten-free, paleo-friendly recipes for every occasion. So I had to check it out. I brought it home and couldn’t believe how many recipes I wanted to try. After renewing the book twice I decided to buy my own copy.

I never really intentionally cooked with coconut flour before so I looked forward to exploring with it in my kitchen.

First let me share a few health benefits and why it might be something you might want to incorporate into your recipes:

It’s naturally high in fiber ans low in carbohydrates (let’s face it, we need that especially with all the yummy temptations over the holidays every little bit helps.)

It’s better for our blood sugar because the fiber content in coconut flour is low in digestible carbohydrates so it doesn’t have the same effect on our blood sugar compared to other carbohydrates such as wheat grains and rice.

Typically when we eat carbohydrates they are broken down into glucose that can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, which forces our body to work hard to respond to it. This quick rise causes stress on the body and over time, high blood sugar levels can lead to or complicate some of our big health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease,  weight gain and our overall health. But with coconut flour you don’t get that sugar spike and the high fiber makes you feel full and cleans out the residue before leaving the body.

So using it as an alternative to traditional all purpose flour is a great thing. It also is a great alternative for that small percent of people that have gluten intolerance.

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So today I tried making the Chocolate Banana Bread recipe from the cookbook. It is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly. I am lactose intolerant so the fact that the book includes ways to remove the dairy makes me happy.

I couldn’t find my smaller loaf pan so it came out more of a long wide shape. I also tried a new dark chocolate brand which I used the food processor to shred it.  Well I had three tasters including myself. Leao, who is working from home, said he liked it but wanted more banana flavor. Apollo and I loved it. I liked the moist inside with a slight crisp to the edges. It pairs well with my Honeybush tea from Numi. It’s perfect for the drab rainy day we are experiencing today.

I will try to write posts as I try some of the other recipes in this book. I hope they are all just as yummy as this one. I also noticed that I didn’t feel sleepy after eating it. So I didn’t get the normal sugar spike like many desserts and breads tend to do to me.

If you do use coconut flour let me know what you think.

Have a blessed day!

Belinda

 

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