tomorrow is fridaaaaay! man. the spring semester Small Groups at Parkway Fellowship started up last week! i am so happy to have a found a group specifically for expecting moms and moms with young kiddos. what a blessing it has been so far. serving makes me incredibly happy, so i jumped at the chance and volunteered to bring snacks for our very first meeting. here's what we munched on:
yall know real fruit snacks are pretty much always on my menu! strawberries, nectarines, blueberries, pineapple, and cantaloupe, all fresh and on sale from my Sprouts Farmers Market.
roll up your sleeves and cut your own fruit! that pre-cut convenience fee is ridiculous. use those savings and buy more food. lol.
i skewered some of them just cause.
next, breakfast quesadillas! i asked Sonny what i should make and he said breakfast tacos. sooooooo, i tweaked his suggestion and did quesadillas, naturally. lol. these got rave reviews from the moms! the combo of fluffy, whole eggs, savory turkey bacon, fresh spinach, portabella mushrooms, and melty monterey jack cheese... i mean that just makes your mouth water, right?! the tortillas were fresh made from HEB.
i used whole eggs and cracked a bunch of them into a large mixing bowl the night before. i diced half a yellow onion and threw that into the egg batter along with some cracked black pepper and liquid aminos. the next morning, all i had to do was scramble and cook them all up of course! i made an assembly line for each ingredient, added a little of each to the tortilla, folded it in half, and toasted it on both side using my griddle. a little Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread was put on the outsides of the tortilla before toasting. gave them a lovely color, crunch, and of course that buttery flavor!
moving right along to these BOMB mini Banana Pecan Chocolate Muffins! the kiddos enjoyed these too and i'm glad because they are naturally sweetened and a great 'grab & go' option. they work any time of day- breakfast, snack, or dessert. you can also use walnuts instead of pecans.
i forgot to buy some greek yogurt while at the store but i had plenty of unsweetened applesauce at home. so i used that instead and they were still as moist and tasty as ever.
it's refreshing to meet, connect, and discuss all things motherhood with other moms....or not! we have already discussed such a wide range of topics and i look forward to more. we all have our stories but one thing is constant; we are all women wanting to grow in our relationships with Christ and raise our little blessings up His way.
speaking of motherhood, i wanted to share one of the best motherhood articles i've read in a good while. i completely identified with the author.
"One day….I will sleep peacefully through the night, never a worry of a sick child or a crying baby. It will be but a memory. These years of being needed are exhausting, yet fleeting. I have to stop dreaming of "one day" when things will be easier. Because the truth is, it may get easier, but it will never be better than today. Today, when I am covered in toddler snot and spit-up. Today, when I savor those chubby little arms around my neck. Today is perfect. "One day" I will get pedicures and showers alone. "One day" I will get myself back. But, today I give myself away, and I am tired and dirty and loved SO much, and I gotta go. Somebody needs me."
that gave me chills. especially since that paragraph described the day we were having at the time. LOL. at some point every single day, Chiso gets down on the floor to play with his cars, action figures, do flips, and other things little boys do... so Dego and i got down there with him to play. seeing the world through their eyes is indeed humbling and Megan's article reminded me yet again to just slow down and soak in as much of these guys as i can.
my answered prayers. my miracles.
can you relate to her excerpt?
would you join or lead a small group yourself?
to last wednesday.
missed my super early cycle class but i still made it to the gym with enough time to get it in on my own that day. i have been putting my best foot forward about hitting the gym super early every single day as opposed to only when i teach my classes. my body just operates better in the early morning. as the day goes on, my desire to workout decreases dramatically. i was able to record a HIIT & abs video i will be uploading to my YouTube channel for ya asap!
i came back home and had one of those breakfasts i could eat every day: whole wheat toast, eggs, avocado, and fruit. i wonder how many pics i have of this plate on my blog already, jeez. i fueled up so i could head right back out though; i had a hot date planned!
ok, the boys came with me. ok, it was actually a playdate, haha. we loaded up the truck and went to spend some time with my BM (baby mama), Marguerite.
she had this beauty, Callie, back in August '14 so Dego was in great company!
i even brought my meals with me so i could stay on track for the day: seasoned chicken breast chunks, sautéed kale, and roasted sweet potato. nothin' fancy!
transforming is fun...and needed. since leaving the IT industry 2 years ago, i normally only 'dress up' and do something with myself for church and special occasions/events. other than that, i'm in gym clothes and sneakers. running errands with the boys... ha. i get home from the gym, get them ready, and head right back out most days. so, i have become accustom to looking a hot mess often. and i'm ok with it. until i see somebody i know!!! anyway, it's fun to get girly and put more effort into my appearance. just a little goal of mine that was set at the start of this year along with taking better care of my hair. moms often take care of everybody else and end up with a lack of time for themselves! make no mistake though; taking time for yourself doesn't mean you must spend hours in the mirror. it means taking and making (15, 20, 30 min or so) every single day to do something for YOU, mentally, emotionally, and physically with NO GUILT. pick a few from this list:
- reading your bible, praying, and meditating. every day.
- working out...especially the sauna or steam room to clear your mind
- learn how to say no, then do it
- get a pedicure
- read a little bit of a GOOD book every day
- take a class (cooking, pottery, painting, YOGA!!!!, etc)
- a long bubble bath soak
- watch the sunrise, solo
- a quiet, daily walk
- dance without music
- sleep in
- go get some fro-yo
- lay down in the middle of the grass and look up at the sky
- a kid-less trip to the store
- schedule a monthly massage
- catch up with friends via a real phone conversation or meet for lunch
- pause, breathe, inhale, exhale, repeat.
i sure do feel better when i'm put together (hair combed, dressed, face made) and looking my best. my top and bottoms are from H & M! i exchanged the heels for flats before i left though. comfort over style ova heeeere! things have changed.
my Ninja blender is the BOMB! what a useful, blessing this Christmas gift is. the next flavor i whipped up was Toffee Chip Roasted Banana Ice Cream but the roasting part is actually optional. tastes fantabulous either way.
above was the soft-serve stage and i wanted to devour the entire bowl right then!!! readyyyyy?
Toffee Chip Roasted Banana Ice Cream
- 3 frozen bananas
- 1 cup coconut cream (i get mine canned from Sprouts Farmers Market)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup toffee pieces
- if roasting, do this step the day before or 2-3 hours prior: place bananas in baking dish, drizzle with vanilla, bake for 40-45 min on 375 degrees. toss them halfway through baking. transfer bananas to a freezer safe container and freeze 2 hours minimum or overnight for best results. jump down to #3, add your coconut cream, and continue.
- if not roasting, add frozen bananas to your Ninja along with the coconut cream and vanilla.
- blend until smooth. it will eventually get super-duper creamy, don't worry! just keep scraping the sides down and blending.
- dump creamy soft-serve into your bowl and add mix-ins (chocolate chips, toffee, optional nuts, etc.)
- eat a few spoonfuls!!!!
- stir it just a few times to incorporate the mix-ins then put it back in the freezer.
- after 2 hours or so, it's all yours.
what does your 'me' time consist of?
pedicures and bubble baths keep me sane.
the first time i saw that meme on IG... instant tears. ooooh, spinning. the class i hate to love and love to hate. i still remember taking my very first cycle class at 24HF years ago. i was drenched in sweat from head to toe like WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED.... *blank stare*. i looked like i had just taken a dip in the pool, fully clothed.
Miko and i made it through again though! i do believe the seat is more uncomfy the next few times after the initial time. the 'it gets worse before it gets better.' phrase applies here. wheeeeew, God bless spin instructors everywhere. i know you get used to it after a while but because i'm in the adjusting phase again it's definitely the discomfort talking. #seasonalcycler
broken vajayjay.... but did you die? LOL #almost
colorful plates make my face and tummy HAPPY. i planned on baking meatballs this week but got lazy (hungry) and whipped up my lean apple-chicken on Nature's Own Whole Wheat bread with cheddar almond cheese instead. i still have Honey Crisp apples around from making homemade apple sauce, so i subbed one of those for the Red DelicicvVous apple my recipe calls for. i threw some steamed green beans, raw golden bell peppers w/ roasted red pepper hummus, and blackberries on the side.
after making those chocolate coconut pb cups the other day, i got to thinking about other layered desserts and those classic banana fudge bomb pops came to mind. i used to LOVE getting them from the ice cream truck when i was a kid. so i went for a healthier, dairy-free version! Chiso gobbled his up, so i count it as a success! I'd love them to be a little creamier, so i'm going to add some Skinny Tru Whip to the batters before freezing next time. make and try them with your kiddos!
Dairy-free Banana Fudge Bomb Pops
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk
- 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Mega Chunks
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
- blend bananas and milk in blender until smooth
- add chocolate chips and milk to a microwave safe bowl and nuke it for 15 seconds at a time until chunks are completely melted. incorporate this together until smooth.
- add banana layer 1 to your popsicle trays filling them only 1/3 of the way full
- freeze for 15 minutes
- take out of freezer and add the chocolate layer, leaving room for banana layer 2 near the top
- freeze for 15 minutes
- take out of freezer and fill trays to the brim with banana layer 2. insert popsicle tops/sticks and put back into freezer for at least 1 hr or more.
* running hot water over the popsicle trays first helps them to pop out easier when you're ready to eat them by the way*
feel free to make as many layers as you'd like! more layers = more prep time though and your little one might keep asking 'is it ready yet!?'
the boys and i finally got to hang out with and take an #usie with this amazingly sweet woman this week! Adaeze is a long-time blog follower of mine (like she has been there from THE jump), a former 6 Pack USA client, and a newlywed (woo hoo!). it was a true pleasure chatting with her!!! she has such a genuine, gentle spirit a big beautiful smile to go with it. i'm grateful for all her support over the years <3
Q. what exercise do you HATE doing but feel so dang unstoppable when you finish?
has it really been a year!? catch up on my BE '13 experience there.
Galveston, we have arrived!
my girl Ogechi and i road tripped (if you can even call it that) from Houston to G-town this past weekend for the 2nd annual Blog Elevated Conference held at Moody Gardens. i live less than an hour from Galveston, i'm 32 years old, and this was my very first time at MG.
Ogechi went first and checked in right away. i walked up to the registration table and the volunteers could not find my name. 'fitfoodiele? hmmmm...' who forgot to register for the conference online before attending?? *raises hand* WHO does that?! i registered right there on the spot on my phone and was able to confirm i was supposed to be there. one day i will get my life together.
i would just like to sincerely thank the founder of the BE, Lisa Stauber, for being so generous to Ogechi and i.
i was not leaving the conference without hugging and thanking her a billion times. i had no trouble finding her though because she was extremely involved in the conference happenings, workshops, etc., and always easily accessible and approachable. the number one thing that stands out about her to me is that she is REAL. a real life, hard-working mother of 10. TEN. no twins, triplets, multiples... all singles. her youngest is like 10 months old! hello? and she is running around handling business and operating her own conference?! she takes that 'no excuse' motto to a whole nother level. she is MY motivation to be the business woman and mother i desire to be. Lisa, you are one incredibly inspirational mama and i highly respect and appreciate you.
we got our swag bags and headed to mix and mingle with the other bloggers.
we participated in the Imperial Sugar sweet scrub booths right away and made some all natural body and lip scrubs! they were super simple to create and made with all natural ingredients you can pick up at your grocery store. try it at home yourself:
then try not to eat it all off. impossible.
we made two others; orange dreamsicle body scrub, and i did a lavender, rosemary, lemon combo scrub as well.
here ya go:
fooooood! so lately i can't go to Sprouts without getting a handful of plantain chips #slightlyobessed so when i saw that basket full of them fireworks went off in my head. we snacked on the chips with mango salsa, fresh fruit with yogurt dip, pineapple and chicken skewers, mini quiches, prosciutto wrapped melon, and...
smores for dessert! we roasted our own marshmallows in that fire pit behind us first. such a fun idea!
after meeting, snapping pics, and hanging out with more blogger friends for a bit (hey @superradchristianwriterchick and @mysocalledglamorouslife!) we hit the road home since we had to be back early again the next day.
what's up day 2!? we checked into MG and dropped off our stuff in our room. nursing babies were welcome so i brought one with me. Dego had plenty of company; there were a good handful of babies present this year.
anxious and ready to learn but had to get a pic in front of the BE backdrop first.
Dego had his own agenda, and it was definitely lunch time.
soon as the ballroom was open for lunch we went right on in and got a great spot in front of the big screen. this is one place i didn't feel like i was being watched while taking pics of my food- everybody else was aiming and snapping away too. lol.
i was looking at last years BE post and noticed that nothing has changed as far as me and Ogechi's eating habits cause we are all about that fit life! small, balanced meals every 3 hours or so works best for our energy levels and attitudes. lol. when i'm working towards a specific goal with my body like our 6 Pack USA clients, i stick to my meal plan and do not budge no matter what. yes, even while traveling. especially while traveling!! that's when i and most people stall the progress and fall off track.. however you can always stick to your guns though. preparation goes a long way, especially with your nutrition. however, i didn't bring any food food again this year, just snacks like nectarines, quest bars, Ogechi's almonds, and water. i'm pretty good at eyeballing my portion sizes for each meal according to my macros, so i did just that and did not stress.
back to it! after a hilarious yet informative lesson on creating charming & cheeky social media content from Marie Bonaccorse from Charmin, we took down several pages of notes from Matt Cherry's 30 Easy Changes to Make for Giant Growth seminar.
after getting home so late thursday night, i skipped my early friday gym date (more like missed purposely) and planned on working out later that day sometime. i attempted to take advantage of the 3 hour break we were given while Ogechi napped, but nope, Dego needed me more. after, oh idk, 10 min or so on the elliptical, Ogechi called me back to the room to tend to Dego's
cries screams! so, no workout that day.
we attended the Beauty, Bubbles, and Bites Cocktail party that evening hosted by Kroger and did the mingle thang!
and snacking thang. lol. if there's a chocolate fondu fountain in our vicinity, we'll find it.
we were on our own for dinner, so we stayed on location and ate at the MG restaurant, Cafe in the Park. i had a turkey-veggie burger with fries, plenty of water, and two dinner salads.
it was off to bed after i researched and connected via social media with some of the bloggers i had met earlier that day. Dego was patiently waiting on his nightcap, haha.
early the next morning, this definitely happened! i couldn't wait to hit it hard. i see you, Cintia! she was up early too and getting her run on, love it. O took the first shift around 4-5am, and i went second while Dego snoozed. the hotel didn't have a stair master, but i found the real thing and got in some lower body work outside. it totally pumped me up to attack BE day 3! after breakfast of course.
back to Cafe in the Park we went. i ordered some coffee, and an egg white veggie omelette with a little cheese. if that's a little cheese...... :/ but i was too hungry to wait for another (and we needed to get going)! so i peeled it off myself and made it work.
we attended more workshops and seminars all afternoon until lunch time. the Representing Brands with Style workshop by Frederick Goodall was actually after lunch, but i didn't get any pics in them! nevertheless, @MochaDad did an amazing job.
lunch time again.
boxed lunches were provided by BE, so we took ours to the room so we could also get our stuff together to check out of the hotel.
after listening to Kristen Welch discuss how her non-profit org Mercy House was birthed, she wrapped up the conference, we said our goodbyes, and headed home to our hubbies.
but not before giving this guy a fresh diaper!
trial and error. every speaker covered different topics and what worked for them of course, but they all had one common piece of advice-- get out there and try it and if it doesn't work, take note and try something else! you'll never, ever know if you don't TRY.
i WILL conquer YouTube after Audra Kurtz' workshop! she inspired me so dang much. currently at #lostpuppystatus but i'm excited to use a different media other than photos. maybe it will work out; maybe it won't. but i'm no longer afraid to try.
focus on what you are good at. your niche. we ALL have one, but YOURS should be your focus. doesn't matter if there are multiple people doing what you're doing... you can't do it like THEM and they can't do it like YOU.
STOP COMPARING. everything.
it will take hard work, blood, sweat, tears, late nights, and possibly YEARS for your blog to reach its potential. accept that and continue to be consistent, be yourself, and post quality content about what you are most passionate about.
until next year, BE!
a mommy-friend of mine invited the boys and i to toddler story time at a local library recently. actually, she invited us weeks ago but i finally got it together enough on my end so that we could attend. it was a morning event so i got up super-duper early just to ensure we'd make it. a lil late, but we made it. i feel like i have to start getting everybody ready like 3 hours before we have to be somewhere, seriously. and when we are rarely making good time, Chiso suddenly has to go go to the restroom as i am loading up the car or Dego throws up on us. never fails! but hey, we made it AND we even got a nice breakfast in!
i had egg whites with black pepper, mozzarella almond cheese, a little homemade guacamole, low-fat turkey sausage, and french toast with strawberries! big breakfast to support my activity levels these days which includes hitting the weights again, nursing around the clock, and keeping up with my 3 yr old. among other things.
Chiso has requested pancakes for like 2 weeks straight now. maybe even longer than that. so made him some sprinkled with mini chocolate chips, sugar-free syrup, and a little fat-free Redi Whip.
our boys warmed right on up to each other and enjoyed the crafting, songs, and puppet show.
Maranda is a mom of 3 boys herself so i know she
feels my pain can relate to life with these little knuckleheads!
our first official outing together. we did it!! we're pros now. i actually avoided leaving the house with both boys for the longest...but the saying is true. 'ain't nothin' to it but to do it.' after that? piece of cake! for the most part. thinking, i.e. worrying, about every single thing that could go wrong is no way to live. i've learned to be prepared, prayerful, and cautious, not crazy. Chiso's independence could not have come at a better time though. for him to be able to get in and out of the car himself, clean up his toys and messes, retrieve and/or throw away Dego's diapers, and turn on the bathroom light so i don't have to get up lol helps out big time. sigh...no more baby Chiso!
just another one of those bittersweet mommy moments.
well all that fun didn't result in a nap at our house, but Chiso enjoyed himself and has asked to go back countless times now. Maranda is a pro at finding free & fun stuff to do around our city, and i recently came across Houston on the Cheap with even more ideas galore. check it!
i got to bed way too late so my early gym date was definitely out this morning. i hit the streets for some sprints once Sonny got home instead. i haven't run full speed in almost a year and i'm sure i'll pay for it tomorrow and the next day! i did ladders:
i started slow and only went 'down' the ladder from 5 to 1. that was all i had, woof. also, here are two foodie items being adding back into my diet that i've posted about before: almond cheese (gotta cut down on the dairy cause of bloating) and calorie-free Grey Poupon mild & creamy mustard. i got great feedback via Instagram about Daiya vegan cheese so i'm gonna step out and try that brand next.
Q: what have you tripped over that wasn't even worth tripping over once you did it?