This weekend FLEW by. Mr. Charming and I both had to work on Saturday, so our "weekend" didn't technically start until Saturday night and ended too early on Monday morning, leaving us longing to soak up Sunday as much as we could.
On Sundays there is a Farmer's Market at a local nearby park where Mr. Charming does many family and engagement shoots on the weekend. It has beautiful green grass, rolling hills and a rock waterfall. It's the perfect picnic spot. I always say I'm going to go back there to write. This past Sunday we started our morning with smoothies and reading our Jesus Calling Devotional and headed to the park for the market.
We loaded up the big camera to get some pictures of the amazing, yummy produce they had available. I always feel so at home at the markets. Organic, NON-GMO, friendly farmers and the prices are GREAT. The first thing I stocked up on was a bunch of these radishes. I've been craving them in my salads lately, they give them such a spicy, subtle crunch.
It's always amazing to me how shocked people are by the size of organic food. It's smaller because its not pumped full of bad products making it grow to artificial sizes. These little spaghetti squashes were so cute and such a sunny shade of yellow. Grabbed one for us for "pasta" night as I move to live fully grain free.
I also tried a FANTASTIC fair trade, organic, vegan chocolate that will soon get a post all on it's own because it was some of the best chocolate I have ever tasted.
After speaking with the various farmers and finding the best deals on grass-fed beef and whole organic chickens, Mr. Charming and I met with a gluten-free Italian caterer where we scored the most AMAZING lunch. It was lasagna made 100% from fresh vegetables.
The lasagna was comprised of layered zucchini, onions and fresh tomatoes in an organic marinara. It was phenomenal and so filling. I paired it with a small side salad and a small square of the aforementioned amazing chocolate. We also picked up some grass-fed beef meatballs to toss on top of our spaghetti squash.
A successful day at the market indeed! I would love to hear your favorite Farmers Market finds from the weekend!
Sometimes you'll laugh
Sometimes you'll cry
Life never tells us
The when's or why's
When you've got friends to wish you well
You'll find a point when
You will exhale
Sometimes moments catch me off guard. Sometimes I've let my shield down. God's armor. That ever present hope and feeling that tells you that whatever tries to shake you to your core will pass. That it will be OK.
Sometimes, like today, (after a particularly emotional night about the Baby P plan and my career juggling), I hook up my Whitney Houston Greatest Hits Album to my PA sound system in the house (the perks of being a formerly touring musician), and belt out cathartically. Today, these lyrics though. It's true. I laugh. I cry. And we aren't supposed to know the when's or why's, but I've got that love that holds me close, those close to me that wish me well, and it's in those moments I can inhale. And exhale.
We just have to remember to keep breathing. Keep loving. Keep living. To the fullest. To the very fullest.
Seriously. Mikey's Muffins. It doesn't need much more explanation than that. Except for the fact that if you are not yet aware of this fabulous, grain-free, little miracle muffin, then I will continue.
I have to say I have not yet used mine to their full potential. The morning my shipment of muffins arrived I ripped open the box, nearly salivating, and made myself a simple breakfast sandwich. But you see, in a world of gluten-free, grain-free, non-processed food consumption a simple breakfast sandwich rarely, if ever, happens. So, this was really exciting for me people.
I dub thee my little delicious McMikeyMuffin.
I cracked open my organic eggs in my little round mini-pan and flipped them until cooked through, so they could resemble a breakfast sandwich egg, (except non-processed and oil free!) and made some as-healthy-as-you-can-get-for-sausage breakfast sausage rounds and popped my Mikey's Muffins in the toaster. I put it all together with a little slather of Paleo approved mayo with a side of fruit and enjoyed my breakfast barely uttering a peep to Mr. Charming. (When foods really good, we rarely speak at meal time. Food is just that important, haha.)
What I love most is how simple and short the ingredients list is. That's what I look for. Brevity is everything. In my line of work as a magazine editor and in my food labels. The original flavor uses just six simple ingredients: Eggs, Almond Flour, Purified Water, Coconut Flour, Baking Soda and Kosher Salt.
They are also certified gluten-free and paleo friendly! They come in three flavors currently, Original, Toasted Onion and Cinnamon Raisin. I tasted all three and my personal favorites are the original and toasted onion. The toasted onion flavor is subtle and nice, not overwhelming. The cinnamon raisin flavor uses Stevia, and though I'm not big on the flavor of Stevia, it's nice to know the company uses a natural sweetener instead of cane sugar! Another plus in my book.
The original tastes much like the biscuits I make with almond flour, but now I can enjoy them anytime I want without any prep time and very little cook time. They are also easily portable to pop in my small travel toaster in a hotel room when I want something filling in the mornings.
I'm excited to try new recipes with them and I have a few in mind in the way of sliders and sandwiches. Keep an eye on Nosh and Nurture's official Instagram - @noshandnurture for those posts.
For more information on the product and where you can get your hands on your own yummy little Mikey's Muffins, visit MikeysMuffins.com.
This is a sponsored post. I received free product in exchange for writing this review. All opinions, as well as the photography, are my own.
He did SO good and listened well to his commands. So of course he got a toy. We already have 'sit' and 'down' solid, but we have to work on puppy nipping and getting him to stay. Translation, just. calm. the. freak. down. sometimes.
This day meant -- easy dinner. I've been fighting some candida issues again and need to go back to #Whole30 or a detox, but tonight I cheated a little and had some gluten-free pasta, but I didn't want any nightshades to accompany it (read: tomatoes or tomato sauce) so I steamed some broccoli.
I looked at the pot and thought... "this is so boring. housewife points: 0." So I got creative. I threw a bunch of herbs in a pan with some chicken broth, dairy free butter and olive oil and threw it all in my Ninja.
Today was busy. We go to print in one week at the magazine, so my morning and afternoon were consumed with PR meetings and final edits. Followed by work for my record label, then the fourth day of the Healthy Gut Summit, and finally onto Petsmart for my little guys first training class.
What I got was an amazing homemade dairy-free, nut-free pesto that could go on anything. It's light and subtle with an amazing garlic flavor and aroma. Mr. Charming thought it was "great" and my dinner went from drab to fab in under 10 minutes.
Get the recipe here.
As an A type personality I am ALL about lists. And planners. And white boards. And apps that make my life easier. (OH the apps). Last year, in 2014, I made a plan to track a lot of what I do in one concise place (my phone). This was a HUGE deal for me because I’m the girl that if I don’t have my planner with me, along with my cute pen and the ability to physically cross things off, I feel a little panicky.
So, last year I thought I would try to simplify and let it go.
What ended up happening though was I found an app to use for EVERYTHING. EVERY. THING. And at the end of my tired and busy work day I was literally having to input data into like 30 different places. (slight exaggeration. Maybe.) Water intake. Workout log. To-Do checklist. Work checklist. Grocery List. Positive things that happened that day log. Food journal. Period log. Ovulation Tracker. (yes, I totally use these apps, especially since we are trying to have Little P.)
What I realized was I was OVER-WHELMED in my simplifying process. Definitely not a win.
So in 2015, when I prayed on the purpose and words for my year, the first and strongest word was ABUNDANCE. However, what preceded that word was SIMPLIFY. And HUMBLE. I believe that if we SIMPLIFY, work SMARTER not HARDER and are humble in our daily life and in our tasks, we can better receive and appreciate the ABUNDANCE planned for our lives.
For the past couple of months I’ve been streamlining both my home and office systems and I now think I have simplified as much as I can with how my schedule runs. I also didn’t want to cut out the few things that help me mentally, and realized that writing things out each night helps me unplug from the day.
I knew I was never meant to be 100% digital.
Below I’ve suggested my favorite apps for simplifying and balancing your life. But first, I put a comparison list to what I USED to use as oppose to what I cut it down to.
I no longer use the multiple whiteboards thanks to my planner and I'm currently not keeping a water or food journal. I started to become too obsessive over my food log and I realize now that I can just eat healthy and look back on my menus for reference if something makes me feel sick. I also made an awesome "Hydration Station" in my kitchen where I put out 4-5 water bottles in the morning and make sure I finish them before bed. The cleaning chart in the laundry room was removed due to Wunderlist keeping track of my weekly house cleaning and Spring Cleaning list. It's an easy and stress free way to organize and keep track of my days without feeling burdened by something that is supposed to make things easier.
And what's the sense in that?
I'd love to know YOUR favorite organizational apps! Comment your favorites and I may just choose my favorites to win a yummy gluten-free and dairy-free snack prize pack I got at the latest expo!
Yes, I am that girl. I am the dog-mom who spoils her fur babies and gives them their own little piece of Christmas morning and who throws them a birthday party. And as our black lab/border collie Princeton is getting to be an old man, I only increase the awesomeness he receives every year.
Our poor little guy has arthritis and isn't SO much a fan of having a new fur baby around, so I wanted to make today special for him. I headed to Party City while Mr. Charming was on his way home from work and made the kitchen Princeton's extra-special party zone. This was Charlie's first year seeing a Pimental puppy birthday and he was more excited than any of us. Which isn't saying much, he's a 6 month old spaz of a Schnauzer and is always excited. So. The boys enjoyed a special dinner of rice with new york strip steak cubes, Puppy Ice Cream with a frosted donut dog cookie and gluten-free/grain-free dog cookie party favors for a later time. My carpet by the way is now covered in rainbow sprinkles. Something about that makes me so happy. They so enjoyed the day.
Princeton was even an awesome sport and let mommy put a Birthday Pin on his collar while daddy put him in his birthday hat to take photos. This is what we do with our weeknights folks. I love these little nuggets though and they deserve all the love. All the love.
I believe that God puts people in our lives to challenge us. To bless us. To love us. I believe that's why Mr charming and I found each other again, all those years ago.
He challenges me. Not in any negative sense of the word, he challenges me in a way I believe God would if He were beside me holding my hand or pushing me beyond my own limitations. I see Gods light, hope and encouragement in my husband... every... single... day.
Which brings me to the metaphorical title of my post. Tonight as Mr Charming and I were whipping up a loaf of this delicious gluten-free chocolate chip banana bread, I felt him come up behind me as I was finishing transferring the batter from the bowl to the loaf pan.
As he hovered comfortably close, "You want to lick the batter, don't you" I asked with a little judgement and a little worry in my voice.
"Of course I do." He said teasingly as he took the spoon from my reluctant hand.
See, to him, its a delicious preview of our treat. Something fun he probably did as a kid. Whereas when you mention licking batter to me all I hear is my mom saying "There's raw egg in there! You'll get salmonella poisoning."
And herein lies the exclamation of many of my fears and much of why I don't partake in such risk taking.
Not only do I believe that licking the drippy battered spoon just simply isn't worth it, I believe I've missed out on other opportunities of in the moment excitement in my life. Whereas Mr. Charming believes in taking calculated risks and living in the moment. I could have very well spared myself some nights sick in bed with a belly ache, or worse, but aside from licking egg-filled battered, I may have also missed out on other adventures that I was just too scared to leap into.
I love that about him. I love that he pushes me beyond my limits sometimes. That he shows me that not everything has to be scary. That yes we should be cautious, but that without any risk there isn't gain.
And I like adventure. Calculated, well-thought out adventure. :D
For listening to my story, I leave you with a delicious recipe for this super moist, sweet banana bread. We opted for Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, but it also pairs wonderfully with added fruit or nuts.
P.S my super adorable new Mason Jar measuring cups are courtesy of my friend Kym who just knows me and got me those for Christmas along with Paleo pizza crust. That's love.
Welcome! My name is Mandi & I hope you stay in this happy little space a while. I'm a Christian, a wife to my Mr. Charming, mama to baby Greyson, healthy food-lover, traveler, professional journalist and Personal Nutritionist who hopes to inspire others with my story...
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