Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Coffee Anyone?


 
Have you ever gotten a much desired (ok let's be serious, needed) ice coffee, iced latte or other cold drink on a hot summer day, only to find that within seconds your ice melts, waters down the drink and the cup condensates and drips all over you or anything it touches?  You cannot tell me that has never happened to you?  Moms? How often? At one point, I stopped getting iced coffees before going to the park with my kids during the summer because by the time I got around to having my third sip, that was the outcome so it was never worth it.  On the flip side, how about keeping hot coffees hot?  Once again, I'm pretty sure that if I do not drink my coffee(s) before my kids wake up, it ends up in the microwave more than in my hand.  Some days, I reheat my coffee again before I even take it out of the microwave because I never got around to taking a sip from the previous reheat.  (I'm not complaining here...just stating facts.  I wouldn't trade the craziness of two toddlers for anything).

Well, if that has happened to you too, you need to try out this product I ordered!  I had seen it online so I got it and love it! Not only is it super cute but practical...they keep iced coffees cold and also keep hot coffees hot. Seriously...how could you not want this? Amazing!


Not only is this a great product, but The Love, Mich Collection is a local handmade business with other products like zippy pouches, wristlets and tote bags. (Can you say stocking stuffer)??  If you don't know by now, I love supporting local businesses so The Love, Mich Collection is the Small Business Special of the week! :)

Here are a few of the fabric choices you can choose from. Cute right?

 
And a sample of one of the totes.  This one is my favorite!
 

I was able to talk to Michelle from The Love, Mich Collection and get a little biography on her business development and achievements and wanted to share!  It proves that with hard work and determination you can achieve your dreams!  I love stories like this! :)

"The Love, Mich Collection began in June 2008 with the Coffee Cozy. I had been sewing since I was a teenager and had a secret desire to have my own fashion line. At the time I was working as a paralegal and my fellow co-workers and I loved those Dunkin Donuts trips. In the summertime our iced coffees would sweat all over our desks, not cool! I decided to come up with something to wrap around the cup to keep the ice from melting so quickly and the cup from sweating all over your desk. A few samples later I came up with something that was awesome. The girls at work loved them too and I sent some along with one of them to a scrapbooking event. She sold almost all of them! Over the next few weeks and months I started to discover this whole world of handmade and independent artists. I thought, finally, something I can do on my own!

As the years passed I began to add other accessories to my collection and the line continued to grow. The collection now includes, the coffee cozies, tote bags, wristlets, and zippy pouches. I use only the best materials and try to source as much of my supplies from other businesses in the United States as I can.

I must also mention, I have the best customers and fans! Everyone is so supportive. I have been lucky enough to be featured in The Reminder Newspaper twice, Lioness Magazine, a segment on Simply Living as well as being named one of the Top Women to Watch in Western Mass in 2012! Also, this past summer I had the honor of including my zippy pouches in the celebrity swag bags at the GBK NY Fashion Week Luxury Gift Lounge!

So what is the moral of my story? You can do it. You can do anything you set your mind to! I still have so many dreams and goals for The Love, Mich Collection and I hope that you will follow along my journey!

Where can you find me? My shop is located at www.lovemichcollection.etsy.com. Make sure to visit the really awesome Giveaway on my Facebook page! (www.facebook.com/thelovemichcollection) You can also find a link to sign up for the newsletter which will include a bunch of amazing Black Friday Weekend deals!!"

Make sure to sign up for the newsletter and also check out her shop location on Etsy!  Her products can make great gifts!  And, take my advice and get a cozy...for yourself...especially you moms...and then thank me! :)

~Erin Leigh

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Stocking Stuffer Guide

I am not a "Black Friday" store shopper. I am a "shop from the comfort of my own home with a coffee and comfy clothes on" shopper.  The stores during the holidays don't always seem to bring out the best in people. I like to enjoy shopping and don't like the frustration of crowds or people fighting over items on sale.  The holidays are about cheerful giving and I like to keep my holiday cheer!  So, I try to do the majority of my shopping online!

I always loved stocking stuffers growing up and I want to make sure my family always loves their stockings too.  Ever wonder what to get? I always do!  I have been doing some online shopping and also looking for good deals, and figured, why not share ideas and good prices to help save others the need to search?  (I wish someone did it for me!) So...with that being said, here is a list of over 50 ideas for the whole family and some current deals I found with price ranges to fit all budgets!

Husband/Boyfriend:
Boot Socks  
Smart Touch Gloves
DVD (www.target.com is having some good holiday sales on DVD's).
Ear Warmers  (Great for outdoor exercising).
Ear Plugs (My husband cannot be the only one who tries to tune out midnight crying)??
Headphones (Got these identical headphones for my hubby last year - he loves them because they don't fall out of his ears when working out)!
Hand Warmers
Bomber Hat (add check out code WL1004568580 for an extra 20% off)
Gadgets - What guy doesn't like gadgets? There are some great gadgets at www.brookstone.comHere are a few deals I found: Key Finder - Flashlight - Wireless Mini Speaker - Cocktail Mixer
Cologne (www.macys.com is having some good sales right now)
Watch (other good watch deals on www.macys.com )

A few more ideas you can be creative with:
Gift card - Could be $5 for coffee or a gift card for a massage, dinner out
Tickets - To a concert or a sporting event
Certificate - Make a certificate for something he would like. A favorite homemade dessert. A night out. You can be creative...
Pack of gum
Favorite Candy
$5 bill - who doesn't need a little cash on them every now and then?
Something thoughtful :)
 
Wife/Girlfriend:
Boot Socks (Can you say $6 bargain)?
Cozy Socks
Essie Nail Polish (We can never have enough).
Scarf
Chick Flick (www.target.com is having some sales on DVD's)
Earrings, Bracelet, Necklace (50% off accessories at Lux Boutique through November) - Inexpensive or expensive - a girl always love accessories! :)
Watch (www.macys.com is having some other good sales like this one & this one )
Electronics Handbag
Perfume (www.macys.com is having some good perfume deals)
 
A few more ideas you can be creative with: (similar the guys list above)
Gift card - Could be $5 for coffee or a gift card for a manicure or pedicure, dinner out, a favorite store
Pack of gum
Favorite Candy
$5 bill - who doesn't need a little cash on them every now and then?
Something thoughtful :)
 
Kids:
Play Doh
DVD - (I just got The Little Mermaid for my daughter and Planes for my son - both $15 at Target)!
Pajamas - (www.target.com is having 30% off sleepwear)
Crayons (Only $2)!
Bathtime Crayon Set (only $.50)!
Stickers
Stamps
Bubbles
Book
Favorite Candy

Girls:
Ariel Bath Doll
Stuffed animal
Hair Accessories

Boys:
Slippers
Cars
Water Gun

Hope that helps you find gifts for everyone in the family from the comfort of your own home with a coffee (or glass of wine) without the hustle and bustle of the stores!  Any ideas you can add to my list? Like I said, I am always looking for ideas! I love giving good creative stockings! :)
 
If you are looking for a general guide you could always follow this one (I added to the original 4 I have seen)...Something they want, need, wear, read, eat, drink, practical, thoughtful - you can obviously be creative with each!  Happy Shopping! :)

~Erin Leigh

 
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Meal Planning?

 
Meal Planning.  I have seen many Pinterest posts about meal planning and have heard so many positive things about it...how it saves not only time, but money too and also helps you eat healthier.  Sounds like a no brainer but I always think to myself...who has time for that?  To sit down and meal plan?  When I have a moment to sit down, I like to sit down and do something mindless.  Something like this:

 
A glass of red and a handful of white chocolate peppermint M&M's...(seriously...totally worth the cheat)!  Anyways, sometimes I feel I barely have time or desire to plan that evenings dinner...so to think about meal planning way in advance seems like a lot of work!  But then it occurred to me...How it WILL save time and energy by planning all at once and can probably save money in the mean time because I can plan according to what I buy...how did this light bulb in my head not go off sooner?  I can even plan lunches based on leftovers (I personally don't eat leftovers, but the three other people in my house do) and hopefully not throw out food that goes bad because I haven't gotten around to preparing it.  (It definitely happens).  I also think it will be beneficial as I try to transition to the paleo diet because I am still learning what to eat/not to eat, so I am always researching!  So....my next endeavor it is!  Here are a few meals for this week I decided on (while drinking the red and eating the M&M's...not so stressful).

Tuesday:
Pork Tenderloin
Roasted sweet potatoes
Carrots
Salad

Wednesday:
Hubby is in charge of Wednesdays because I work.  We usually have a little family dinner outing ;)

Thursday:
Thanksgiving x 2!  (My parents house then Grandparent-in-laws)
Making:
Mashed Cauliflower
Peas
Pumpkin Cheesecake x 2! (non paleo!)

Friday:
Hopefully...leftovers!

Well...that was an easy first week!  HA! Ok...so it's a start!  I think what will make it beneficial will be to plan it BEFORE grocery shopping for the week so I only buy what I will be making. Any meal planners out there? Is that the key here?

Also...anyone hear of places to buy grass fed chickens? cows? I am on the hunt!

Thanks for any input in advance.  And recommendations for next weeks meal planning are welcome and appreciated! :)  It won't be quite as simple as the rest of this week was!

~Erin Leigh

Friday, November 22, 2013

Paleo Progress



So far, this week has gone well with the attempt to switching to the Paleo diet.  If you didn't read the initial post about the switch you can read it here! Here are some examples of what I ate this week, so if you have any interest, it will give you some ideas (I, personally, am always looking for ideas!):

Breakfasts:
Eggs with either chicken sausage or turkey sausage

Lunches:
Grilled chicken salad

Dinners:
Beef Stew
Grilled chicken salad
Taco salad
Chicken vegetable soup
Pulled pork with sweet potatoes and vegetables

Chicken Salad, Taco Salad, Beef Stew
 














Snacks: Almonds, Chobani (Chobani does not follow the paleo diet, but I haven't given it up yet!)

So, I clearly ate a lot of salad this week.  I am trying to find some other good ideas for quick and easy lunches.  That, so far is probably the hardest change because I can't really think of anything to eat other than salad at lunch time.  I haven't had a ton of time to be creative for dinner as it's been a pretty busy week so I am hoping this weekend I can come up with some ideas! 

I am happy to say though that I stuck with my NO pasta, potatoes, rice, crackers and chips rule!  This weekend I will be coming up with what I will give up next week in addition to those 5 items.

Any meal suggestions PLEASE pass along! :)

~Erin Leigh

PS.  Since I did so good all week, I caved for a totally NON Paleo afternoon treat.  Brownies with marshmallows and chocolate...I have already sent half the pan to my parents so that it doesn't stick around all weekend! I tried so hard not to give in but...Happy Friday!! :)






 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Insanity Fit Test Results

This week is week 3 of Insanity.  Have I mentioned my love/hate relationship with it?!  It's such a great workout but the title "Insanity" is definitely fitting.  Although every single time I finish a workout I feel great!  Unfortunately, I have had to skip yesterday and today because I'm not feeling well (my loving children shared their colds with me...how sweet).  ;)  I actually got dressed and went out to do the workout yesterday but then ended up coming right back in.  This morning, I didn't budge when the alarm went off.  I am so dead set on completing the challenge that I have a hard time that I'm missing a day (or two), but sometimes you need to listen to your body and take a break.  So, missing a few days out of 60 isn't going to make a huge difference. (That is me reminding myself....again...I have already told myself that 10 times this morning).  I think it's the mental part of how I take on challenges.  I take it seriously...clearly. 
 
Anyways, I figured I can show some progress.  Fit Test results!  For anyone who has not done this workout program before, the very first day you do a Fit Test which includes 8 exercises and you need to do as many as you can in 60 seconds.  You then repeat it every few weeks for the 60 days so you can track your improvements.
 
Here are my first two Fit Test comparisons:
 
 
 
I was definitely happy that I increased in each area. My husband's improvements were even better.  I'm so proud of him! :)  The Fit Test doesn't get easier, you just get better each time! 
 
This is a great quick workout even if you aren't doing the Insanity program so I thought I would share the moves with you and you can try it at home.
 
Make sure to warm up.  All you need is a stop watch.
I know sometimes it can be difficult to follow the diagram if you aren't already familiar with the moves so if you have any questions I'm happy to answer! It's definitely fresh in my mind! Haha :)  If you do it, feel free to share your results. Then do it again in a few weeks!  This is a great way to track progress in addition to taking photo comparisons.  If you haven't read my Proof of Progress post you can read it here. 
 
Well, I am off to go remedy this cold so I can be get back to being insane at 4:45 tomorrow morning! :)
 
~Erin Leigh
 
PS.  If you are interested in buying Insanity, you can currently get it with free shipping on Amazon!  Insanity DVD Workout
 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Parents...tell me I'm not alone?!

Now...to preface, if you are not yet a parent, and you ever intend to be, you may not be interested in reading further.

Parents, have you ever had a day that was anything like this?

12 am, a brand new day, you are soundly sleeping...
12:30, your 14 month old daughter begins to cry. You think, I'll give her a few minutes and see how it goes.  The crying subsides...you drift back to sleep...and then again the crying starts.  You have an inner battle that begins. If you go into the room, you get sucked in. You cannot get back out.  But, you feel bad letting them cry because you know they aren't feeling well.  Oh wait, the crying subsides...perfect.  Drift back to sleep...and again...it begins. This vicious cycle seems to go on forever and you look at the clock, and it's only 12:40.  Wow...longest 10 minutes ever!  You cave, go in, put on the sleep sheep, get her comfortable with her favorite angel stuffed animal and blanket and rub her back by leaning over the crib, which is never a comfortable position when you are rubbing her back for 20+ minutes, but you know if you take her out of the crib to rock her, it's that much more difficult to get her back in...so you do this odd lean over the crib back rubbing thing for what feels like an eternity.  You hear the breathing getting louder and steadier...you think, she is asleep. You then, very slowly, without breathing, straighten up and try to move away from the crib. Then your ankle cracks, and she realizes you aren't rubbing her back anymore and screams.  You calm her down, she drifts back off to sleep, you try to sneak out, then the door creaks and she screams. (At this point, I would imagine you would want to scream).  So, then you decide you will rock her. When she is in a deep sleep you will ever so slowly transition her into her crib.  Nope, not happening.  Long story short...you crawl back into bed at 4:41 am, 4 minutes before your alarm is set to go off. Awesome.

Fast forward to 8:30...how nice, your kids slept in until 8:30. What a blessing.  Although you have been up since 5:30 (you got to catch a whopping 30 minutes of sleep), you got to be somewhat productive while in a groggy state...and feel like even though you are running on empty, you have a positive outlook on the day...

And then it begins.  You prepare breakfast.  Eggs, chicken sausage and some cut up bananas.  Eggs end up on the floor, water is being banged on the table and splashing everywhere, your daughter NEEDS a napkin for her hands, then NEEDS one for her face, both of which end up on the floor.  Chicken sausage is chewed then spit out.  Eggs end up on the floor.  You then step on a piece of banana on the floor.  Ok, breakfast is over and somehow you happened to keep it together.  Then it's time for milk. You give the milk and begin to clean up from breakfast, as they playfully put the milk on their heads and both repeat over and over "head, head, head."  Yes, the older one is teaching the younger one body parts, very sweet, but then imitates her putting her cup on her head.  Long story short, both milks, purposely also end up on the floor. 

Ok, breakfast is over.  Time for the 2 1/2 year old to sit on the potty (actively potty training).  Child goes kicking and screaming.  Sits down, pees, while continuing to scream.  Then 14 month old, still confined in high chair for her safety (and your sanity), is screaming, because remember, she doesn't feel well. Runny nose, molar coming in, clingy.  Ok, potty is flushed, wash hands, pants on. Great, time to get the other child and play.  2 1/2 year old insists he NEEDS to watch a show. You remind him he doesn't NEED to watch a show, he wants to, and he can watch a show in a little while after playing.  Tantrum.  Other child feeds off of it.  Tantrum.  Deep breath in...deep breath out...repeat...and again.  Ok...you decide to be proactive and get out some books and toys.  They want to throw all the pillows on the floor and jump on the couch.  Obviously it is much more fun, and it's all fun and games but the younger one is not sturdy so this is not the greatest idea.  You offer other toy suggestions in order to distract from the couch jumping.  You daughter heads to the cabinet asking for a "snack, snack, snack" while pulling out anything she can reach.  (She did just eat)  Meanwhile, the 2 1/2 year old begins the "I have to pee" dance.  You bring him to the bathroom...I am sure you can imagine...kicking and screaming.  The younger one also has to be part of being in the bathroom, climbing up on the stool to attempt to wash her hands, trying to look into the potty while he is peeing and wants the roll of toilet paper.  The screaming subsides.  You decide to give a snack because it confines them for a few moments and you can try to collect yourself so you don't explode in frustration.  A yogurt. Good suggestion.  You ask the 2 1/2 year old peach or blueberry.  Blueberry he responds.  You open it...nope, now he wants peach.  You inform him he already made a decision so he cannot have the other kind because it would be a waste.  Tantrum.  Daughter...tantrum because you are taking too long to feed her her yogurt.  Breathe in...breathe out...breathe in...breathe out...Ok...get through the yogurts, he now wants a snack size bag of pretzels.  You think, well, he sure has an appetite, maybe a growth spurt?  Open the pretzels, he eats one. Nope, he wants peanut butter and jelly.  You inform again, that is a waste. You decided on pretzels. Tantrum.  Daughter insists she is "stuck" in her chair, tantrum.  You think, 'I need to do something before I lose my sanity.'  A show it is!  So, you decide to put on Mickey Mouse Christmas on Netflix because your kids think it is hilarious and you have to pee...you all sit down on the couch and you actually think the day might be redeemed. You have some laughs together.  Things are going well for that first 5 minutes, until daughter wants to get "down" but by "down" she means jump on the other end of the couch.  You distract with some books.  Then son still wants peanut butter and jelly. You look at the clock. It's 11:15. You think, early lunch, bath and then nap? Sounds good!  You prepare peanut butter and jelly.  It goes somewhat smoothly.  You give the after lunch milk.  Ends up on the floor.  Breathe in...breathe out...repeat, repeat, repeat.  Ok, I can do this.  Let's go upstairs and the kids can have a bath.  They enjoy baths, both are stuffy, they can play with bath toys and you can clean the bathroom counters, try to regroup.  It's working.  You feel like it's going to be ok.  Wash the kids. Take your daughter out to put her diaper and clothes on, turn around...and there you have it...2 1/2 year old leisurely pooping...in the bathtub. WHYYYY?!?! Put daughter in her crib with toys...tantrum, sit son on the potty because you need to get him out of the bath and there is no where to put him.  Clean the bathtub and give him a shower.  Then naptime for your daughter mirrors the events from 1am-4:30am and you cry right along with her.  You pull yourself together so you can rock with your son.  He falls asleep. Silence.

So, I will ask the opening question...have you ever had a day like that?  Please tell me I am not alone?!?!

I will be honest, a text then went to my husband and best friend that read, "What should I do during naptime? Do I work out? Or drink vodka?"  I really contemplated.  But I ended up doing a 42 minute workout with Shaun T and now I'm ready for round 2 with these crazy yet adorable little monsters! Ok afternoon...bring it on!

And no, this was not taken this morning.

~Erin Leigh

Paleo Beef Stew - Crock Pot

So, I know the other day I mentioned how difficult switching to the Paleo diet seemed...but actually, it's been going pretty well. I have been trying to do my best to follow the plan each meal. For instance, Sunday we went out for breakfast and instead of getting an omelet with home fries (my favorite breakfast cheat) I got two over medium eggs with turkey bacon and a side of fruit. It was really good and I didn't leave feeling bloated and like I gained 5 pounds like I usually feel after going out for breakfast.  

Even those little hands wanted some!

Then today my meals were: 
Breakfast: 2 eggs and chicken sausage 
Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with walnuts, green apple and lite balsamic dressing
Dinner: Paleo beef stew.  This came out so good!! I was pleasantly surprised. I made my own recipe and threw it in the crockpot before work in the morning. You never know how that could turn out! Here it is! 

Paleo Crockpot Beef Stew 
Ingredients:
2 pounds beef stew meat 
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes 
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks 
1 green pepper, cut into chunks 
1 onion, chopped 
3 handfuls spinach, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic 
2 beef bouillon cubes 
1 bay leaf 
Basil, onion salt, pepper, garlic powder (Your preference. I used a little of each)
2 cups water 

Throw all those ingredients into the crock pot and cook on high for 8-10 hours or on low for 6. 

Came out so good. I actually mashed it together for my son and told him it was a bowl I steak (he isn't a fan of sweet potato, carrots, green peppers, spinach...so basically not a fan of any ingredients other than beef). It worked and he ate it! I will definitely be making this again!  You can obviously make this even if you aren't on the Paleo diet.  It is so easy and a great meal!
 

 
 
Let me know if you try it! Do you have any Paleo recipes for me to try? Also, does anyone substitute anything when a recipe calls for beef bouillon cubes?  I would love to find a substitute that doesn't have MSG in it.  Please share!

~Erin Leigh

Monday, November 18, 2013

One Stop Shop!

If you are anything like me, you too, love to shop! What girl doesn't? Clothes, shoes, accessories, you name it, I love it!  In my shopping ventures (and they are frequent), I have yet to come across any other store in the area where you walk in and are immediately greeted with a smile, followed by a "are you looking for anything particular today?"  Nothing pushy, just a simple question.  If you do have a particular reason for shopping and tell them, they immediately fill a dressing room with different options for you to try on, all fitting to your reason for shopping and how you want to present yourself, taking into account your body type and what will look best on you.  It's like having a personal stylist. (For anyone who knows me or already follows my blog, I am frequently limited on time, so not having to put together my own outfits/options saves time = amazing in my book!)  If you, unlike me, have time (lucky you!) and just want to browse, you will find lots of cute, trendy and classic items with a price range to fit all budgets plus accessories, bags and shoes.  It's a one stop shop for a night out or a place you can stock up on items for the season!  You might be wondering where this amazing place is? It's Lux Boutique in East Longmeadow, MA and also in West Hartford, CT.  I love that it's a one stop shop without the hustle and bustle of the mall and locally owned! 

Recently, I have gone in looking for outfits for the following events: bachelorette party in Boston, Volleyball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony,  dinner date, a birthday party, night out in Boston, rehearsal dinner and also for some cute clothes for lounging at home (in other words, so I am not in yoga pants and a sweatshirt every day when my husband gets home from work...although that is my favorite outfit from mid September through May 1, and no he has never complained about it, it is nice to feel comfortable yet cute at home)!  So, here are a few photos of the recent events, plus a few photos taken of other outfits that I love!



Volleyball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Night out in Boston (excuse the crazy eyes)


Friend's rehearsal dinner


Some fall favorites :)

 
So, with that being said, I thought I would also share some of the promotions I have come across recently on Instagram and Facebook!  Currently, they have a promotion for 50% jewelry for the month of November. I also recently heard that for a week in December they will be doing a "gifts we love" special.  For one week they will post one item per day and give 25% off that featured item.  Bargain? I think so!  Also, a great place to do your holiday shopping! (Hint hint to my hubby, and yours!) ;)
 
You can follow them on Facebook here and Instagram @shopluxy for all the updates!  You can also sign up to be on their email through their website or text shopluxy to 57711. 

Just wanted to pass on this great information for this weeks Small Business Special! It's a great local business to support.  I'll definitely be watching for the 25% off item next month! What shopper doesn't love a bargain?! If you check it out let me know! :) 
 
 

~Erin Leigh

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Turkey Barley Soup! Quick and Healthy!

So, last night I gave my husband a few options for dinner with ground turkey as the main ingredient.  His choice was turkey barley soup.  I had to Google if barley was accepted in the paleo diet.  The answer was no. But, since I said I was starting small with the paleo diet, and barley was not on my list of 5 items to give up to start, and I also said I wasn't going to stress about it, turkey barley soup it was!  It's such a good recipe and I've made it several times, so of course I wanted to share!  Quick, easy and healthy!

Turkey Barley Soup

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup pearl barley
salt and pepper
basil
garlic powder
3 cups spinach leaves, chopped

Directions:
Heat oil over medium heat.  Add turkey and cook until brown. 
Add onion, celery and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. 
Then add broth, barley and season with the salt, pepper, basil and garlic powder to your liking.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour (until barley is tender).
Then add spinach, let it simmer for 5 minutes and serve :)

Before you view the picture, I will admit that due to the complaining of my 14 month old food loving daughter, I completely forgot to add the spinach this time around because I was rushing to get her fed.  (I swear sometimes you would think that I don't feed her.  She eats well, I swear!) 



The picture would look better with the spinach.  We missed out on our greens but oh well! 

And here is a photo just to prove I do not starve my child!


Those cheeks are proof!

Hope you like the soup!

So far, TODAY has been all Paleo!

~Erin Leigh

PS.  Stay tuned for my Small Business Special this week! It's one of my favorite local places!

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Beginning of Paleo

I have learned something while researching this Paleo diet. 

*This is going to be harder than I thought.*  (Seriously)

I think if I were single and making this change it would not be as difficult, but it involves three other people's daily food intake, which seems like it complicates things.

So, as a result I decided I am going to "start small."  I am going to start by giving up a few significant things that are not part of the diet and then add to it to progressively work towards this way of eating.  My first five include potatoes, rice, pasta, crackers and chips - effective yesterday.  The fact is, I already partially follow this diet.  I snack on almonds, I eat salads with protein for lunch, I eat eggs for breakfast, so I just need to eliminate the carbs that I eat along with it and substitute more protein/fruits/veggies.  (Then I will need to work on giving up the dairy).  So, those 5 items are first on my list and have been eliminated.  I am going to do this consistently for at least a week and then add to the list!

I know the purpose is to eat like the cavemen, but for me, it is not going to happen over night.  I am only human, with two toddlers (and a husband) to feed, and time is not always on my side. If I don't have the ingredients to throw together a complete paleo meal, then I am not going to stress about it.  My goal is to continue researching and working towards the end goal of "eating like a caveman."  Everyone needs to start somewhere and this progressive approach I think will work best for me!

So, with that being said, yesterday, with the help of my two little companions, was our first paleo shopping trip :)


Followed by our first paleo meal:


Steak, brussel sprouts, sweet potato, carrots and salad
The kids actually did great with it!

Then, I had a few Big Y cookies that I couldn't pass up at the store.  It was my Friday night cheat...and if you noticed, cookies are not on the list above! ;)  I told you I was starting small! No judgments!

Then this morning was scrambled eggs with ham.  So far it's going well!

I will keep you posted on the progress.  Thanks to those that have given me some different Paleo blogs to follow.  They are super helpful! :)  Keep them coming!

~Erin Leigh

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