Our 40 Day Food Cleanse

Untitled

Well, we are a week and a half into our food cleanse for Lent. I kind of want to jump up and down and shout how much I love it!! Of course I have some weak moments where I want to shove my face with 10 of the Trader Joe’s Donut-O’s that are sitting on my counter right now, but for the most part it’s been so yummy, fun and doable.

Like I mentioned in my Lent post, we are following Drea’s cleanse e-guide. Basically it’s all vegan, no (or very little) processed and no sugar. It’s not about counting calories, or starving yourself. It’s about resetting, feeling healthy and learning about what we are putting into our bodies. Aside from the cleanse, eating clean really is something we should challenge ourselves to do more often. Start by trying to eat clean even 1 or 2 days a week.

Untitled

Here are a few things I’ve learned about eating clean this past week…

1. It does not cost more to eat all whole foods.
I was sure our grocery bill was going to go through the roof. LIE. When you cut out all the other processed food you normal buy (condiments, bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, etc…), you really don’t spend more when just buying veggies and fruit. Especially when you are heading the the grocery store with a meal plan and a list of the exact things you need. It also helps when you try to buy local and what is in season. Which is pretty much nothing here in the northeast, but oooh I can’t wait for the summer.

2. It does take time and thought.
It’s been pretty easy to eat clean, but it does take some effort. Every Sunday I sit down, look over the recipes and browse a few blogs for ideas. Then I come up with a meal plan for the week. I’m talking breakfast, lunches and dinners. I find my weakest moments are when I am hungry, without a plan and no allowable snacks. Those are the moments that have me justifying in my head that it’s ok to eat the Inner Peas from Trader Joes that I brought with us for the girls. After I grocery shop, I spend one evening cleaning, chopping and organizing all the food. That way when I am hungry I will have some homemade hummus and carrots all ready to go. Plan ahead. Plan filling and yummy meals. Eat often.

3. Dishes.
It might be just us, but whoa baby! we have a lot more dishes. Thankful for a dishwasher and a handsome husband that willing does the dishes.

4. Overnight Oats are gross.
Ha! It might be just me but the cold texture of the oats just doesn’t work for me. I much prefer cooking them and topping them with a dash of unsweetened almond milk, some cinnamon, hemp seeds and a ton of fresh fruit. *edit: Umm I didn’t know you could heat up overnight oats. Whoops! Trying that tomorrow.

5. Be adventurous
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “well, what can I eat then?” leaving you feeling like there is nothing to eat. Truth be told, there are tons of things you can eat. Try something new, even if in the past you thought you didn’t like it. Try new vegetables and fruit you’ve never eaten before. Find some recipes that excite you. Remember you can always substitute things to make a recipe work for you. I found a soup recipe I wanted to try, but it had a few things that didn’t work with the cleanse. I added water instead of veggie broth, almond milk instead of heavy cream and cut the oil way, way down and used coconut oil instead. The soup was DELICIOUS!! We have had it twice already.

6. Habits take a while to break.
The very first day I found myself with a mouthful of waffle pieces that I ate off of Finley’s highchair. Whoops. I was so used to eating the leftover bits and pieces of what they eat all day. Over the past week I have been more conscience about what I put in my mouth (that’s what she said- sorry. had to.) Although this morning I may have licked my fingers after a drop of Rowan’s maple syrup got on them. Oooh Sugar!! Speaking of sugar… After a few days and some good mental review over why I am doing this in the first place, I can pass the bag of M&M’s a lot easier than before. It really makes you realize the lies we teach ourselves that we “need” certain things.

7. Have fun!
I am actually having a lot of fun doing this! It makes me proud at the end of the day thinking about the good things I’ve put into my body. It will most definitely be something that last much, much longer than the 40 days. Clean eating has taken a hold of me! I am looking forward to adding a few things back once this particular food cleanse is done. I miss plain greek yogurt and some bread here and there (pizza!) but overall this cleanse has already really made an impact on our household.

You can buy Drea’s 30 Day Cleanse E-Guide Here.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

*For those of you that are asking the top dish is just a bowl that I put a handful of spinach in then layered on top: roasted sweet potatoes, roasted beets, roasted chickpeas, carrot sticks, red quinoa, avocado, some hemp seeds and then added a big ol’ dollop of homemade hummus. Let me tell you… it was DELICIOUS!

‘Gro’ Something Greater

IMG_6944

IMG_6939


“GROW WONDER”


When I planted a little indoor herb garden I thought it would be just that… an herb garden. We’ve grown much more than just the herbs though; we’ve grown so many family memories in the process. Rowan has been so excited about growing herbs in the house. When we first put the seedpods in she would run down every morning to see if anything had sprouted. As the herbs started to grow we watered the plants together, added the nutrients and then learned how to harvest each of the herbs. It has given me so much joy watching her be so interested in something. Because let’s face it, 3 year-olds don’t have the longest attention span. Her eyes just light up when I tell her it’s time to trim the plants. We bought her a tiny pair of kid scissors that I let her use to trim the herbs herself. Now that we have a pretty hefty indoor garden, it has been so fun to find ways to use to the herbs together. We love cooking in our house and I try to include Rowan as much as I can. One of my favorite things we have done with our mint was make some homemade Mint Chocolate Cookie ice cream for Finley’s first birthday party. It just seemed so special to use something we grew together to make something that could be shared with friends and family as we celebrated Finley. Watching Rowan’s wonder over the whole experience this winter has made me so excited for us to plant a vegetable garden this spring!
————–

I just wanted to share with you Miracle-Gro’s new “Gro Something Greater” campaign. When we grow something, we really do grow something greater than just plants. I love hearing what having a garden means to people. Everyone has such unique stories. That’s what this campaign is all about! It’s a place for everyone to share what they ‘Gro’ when then garden. All the stories are so inspirational. Last fall we marked out where our new big garden is going to go this year. Can’t wait for the snow to finally stop (ugh!) so we can get out there!

Head on over to GrowSomethingGreater.com and share your story!
Following along on twitter and instagram with #grosomethinggreater

What are you going to grow this year?
Do you garden? Share your tips with me!!

Crafts With Kids | Egg Carton Floral Wreath

IMG_2584

With spring just around the corner (as I chat to myself daily) what better way to celebrate than with a super cute and easy craft you can do with your kids. I had a bunch of wooden embroidery hoops lying around that we decided to glue our flowers to. But you could make all kinds of different wreaths with the flowers. Rowan thought the finished craft was pretty cool and hung the wreath on the door to her room.

Materials needed:

IMG_2569

Directions:
1. Cut out the egg pods from the carton. Trim and cut them into different shaped flowers. Use all the parts of the carton to create centers and to cut leaves out. If you kids are good with scissors they can totally do this part. It was a little too hard for Rowan still.

2. Let them have at it! Give them a bunch of bright colors to paint all the different flowers with. Do your kids always want to mix all the colors into one mucky brown color? I always have to try to get Rowan to paint with each color separately.

3. Hot glue all the parts of the flowers together. I added a few vintage buttons and pom poms to our centers.

4. Arrange and hot glue to wooden embroidery hoop. Attach string to top and hang somewhere in your house.

5. Pray that spring is around the corner.

IMG_2571

IMG_2573

IMG_2575

IMG_2577

IMG_2586

IMG_2598

Weekend Favorites

IMG_2273

It’s the weekend! Yay! Anyone have any big plans? It was 40 something degrees today and it felt like summer. That’s being dramatic, but I am so tired of it being so cold. I am convinced we need to move back to Hawaii. I may or maynot have been scheming this all week. At least I was dreaming of being back down in FL with my family. I didn’t take too many photos on my camera when we were there. Here are the few random ones that I did get.

IMG_2249

IMG_2260

IMG_2277

IMG_2288

IMG_2293

IMG_2298

IMG_2310

Here are some of my favorite links from around the web this week…
1. Love this post on gardening over on Ohdeardrea. Growing a garden really can be a metaphor for life. Love her insight.

2. Shared our love story (how Kev and I met and fell in love) over on Danielle’s blog last week. Did you know we got engaged, married and moved 6,000 miles away all in 5 weeks?

3. This baby rain coat is about the cutest thing ever! Pair with some rain boots- ooh!

4. Ha! This article made me laugh. JBBB.

5. This watch is just so simple, yet beautiful. A watch you could wear everyday.

6. For the Frozen lover in all of us. This cover is my favorite, plus how can you go wrong with Jimmy Fallon

7. I am so touched by how Ashley shares stories about her daughter. So tender and raw. Love their family!

8. I’ve become mildly obsessed with the idea of both the girls having a pair of hightops. In white of course!

9. So intrigued to try this spaghetti squash pizza crust. It sounds delicious.

10. This sleeping bag is so beyond ridiculous. How fun would it be?

11. Enjoyed reading this perspective on using the word “blessed”. What are your thoughts?

12. This is my kind of outfit! Mara looks beautiful even in just a tshirt and jeans. Those shoes!!

13. My most favorite designer! Ooh to own this dress or super cute swimsuit.

HAPPY WEEKEND!!

French Inspired Baby Shower

IMG_2416

This past weekend, my friend Erin and I hosted a French inspired baby shower for our very classy, beautiful and pregnant friend, Brigid. When I dream of owning my own party planning business, Erin is part of that dream. We make a good team. She is super creative and very talented! We had so much fun coming up with the menu, decorations and table settings for the party. Erin was the brain child of this one. I just helped execute all of it. The lovely folks over at Minted helped us with some of the fabulous decorations. Brigid picked out these great invitations, which really set the tone for the whole party. The shower was at 2pm, so we just went with light fare. Cheese boards, baguettes, fruit, and 2 delicious salads. Erin made a citrus salad with a spiced honey dressing and then a bacon, potato and watercress salad. Mmmmmmmm

IMG_2403

We wanted to carry out the french theme like the in invitations, but not cross that line into cheesy Eiffel Tower everywhere sort of party. We went with striped black and white table cloths (just fabric from hobby lobby), and a pretty orange, peach, gold and mint color scheme. Erin picked up some fresh flower bunches from the local grocery store and we made the bouquets for around the room. We spray painted mason jars gold to give them a little something extra. I thought the cake came out so great with the flower cake topper we put together. Isn’t the milk glass cake stand from Minted so beautiful? I have to say, this was hands down my favorite party I have ever decorated for. I was just so happy with how it all came together. It was a such a wonderful day celebrating Brigid!

IMG_2461

shower3

IMG_2413

IMG_2431

IMG_2430

shower

IMG_2418

IMG_2436

IMG_2406

IMG_2444

IMG_2423

shower2

IMG_2455

IMG_2456

IMG_2409

IMG_2387

IMG_2452

IMG_2399

Minted generously gifted us these items: Cake Stand, Gold Circle Banner, Straw Flags, Flags for the Cheese, Table tent cards, Favor boxes, Favor box Stickers, Pretty floral table runner, Tissue paper fans, Invitations and Thank You cards.

All the other dishes I have been collecting from thrift stores/target for the past couple years.

I made the tassel garland for Rowan’s birthday. It was awesome to get to reuse it!

Letter Garland is by Rifle Paper Co. Can be found here.

Recipes for salads can be found here and here.

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev