2 Months with Arren Yuki

Another month has just flown by and all of a sudden Arren doesn’t even seem like a baby anymore! He’s grown so much and is getting spunkier each day. ¬†I just can’t believe how much I love this little weirdo. ¬†He’s been having longer periods of wakefulness, he really uses this time well, trying to be the cutest baby he can possibly be.

We’ve been trying to take him out more, but boy, we still look like deer in the headlights. ¬†We usually have a whole lot of things in our hands that we don’t end up using, but hey we are slowly getting into a rhythm as a family of three.

This guy is such a tall baby, he doesn’t even seem like a baby anymore he’s so tall! He’s growing rapidly and I just keep wondering where did my tiny little baby go?! ¬†I’m breastfeeding Arren Yuki exclusively and things are going great. ¬†This guy has been a natural from the beginning he’s had a great latch and with help from my midwife, we mastered breastfeeding from the beginning. ¬†I’ve found out Arren is allergic to gluten, ¬†so I’ve taken gluten out my diet now. ¬†I didn’t have that much gluten before, but I did have a piece of toast here and there, and almost everything seems to have surprise gluten in it.

I’m really happy that I kept exercising and eating healthy during pregnancy, its played such an important role in my postpartum recovery. ¬†I’m still trying to get moving and actually do stuff, but ¬†most of the time Arren doesn’t want anything to do with that nonsense, he just wants to be held and cuddled. ¬†He doesn’t even like being used as my exercise equipment! I still use him as a weight, when he’s not looking; shhhhh, don’t tell him. ¬†I’ve started sneaking downstairs in the morning to do a quick workout. ¬†I’m loving the tone it up workout series. ¬†It’s such a great start to my morning and gets me pumped to carry around a growing baby the whole day!

ARREN’S 2 MONTH UPDATE

  • This little guy is all smiles and giggles lately. ¬†It’s been really fun trying to get him to giggle. ¬†He really brings out my silly side.
  • Hes kicking away a storm. ¬†When he gets excited he starts kicking vigorously. ¬†It’s the funniest thing ever, it looks like he’s trying to run away.
  • He loves being carried looking over the shoulder, he holds my arm so nicely while he looks at the world in awe. ¬†He uses his other hand to steer me by my hair like I’m a horse.
  • He’s been really liking the baby in the mirror lately, he hated the baby in the mirror before and would scream at himself. ¬†I think he saw the other baby as competition.
  • All the cooing! He coos all the time and one of his coos sounds exactly like Hello! It’s just the most amazing thing. ¬†We’ve decided he should start a baby band called The Coos with his baby friends.
  • Everything goes into his mouth. ¬†He’s started putting everything he can pick up into his mouth. ¬†We got him this cute little crinkling lion and the first thing he did with it was give him a little taste. ¬†We’ve also fooled him into taking his pacifier like that. ¬†If he puts it into his mouth by himself he doesn’t hate it that much.
  • The witching hour here is more like the witching hours! between 5 – 7 this guy just seems to reach his limit of being overstimulated, grumpy and sleepy or maybe he’s just sick of seeing my face and looks forward to seeing his dad. ¬†Either way, it’s hard!
  • He’s starting to sleep better at night, he doesn’t need to feed as much as he used to. ¬†This guy sure knows the difference between night and day. ¬†He gets grumpy if we don’t start winding down and take him upstairs to the room for his bedtime routine. ¬†It’s like he’s got a little watch on him.
  • He smiles at everyone. ¬†I feel like we have to work so hard for a smile and then wham! A new person just looks at him and a smile happens. ¬†It’s really unfair!

This guy is such a little joy to be around! Watching him grow is just amazing.

 

Golden Milk Granola

During my long wait, waiting for baby to arrive I was trying to stay sane by creating recipes for postpartum. ¬† I wanted to create healthy easy to grab recipes that would nourish me and help heal me from the inside out. ¬†I was thinking about anti inflammatory spices and ingredients that could be made into a delicious easy breakfast. ¬†Breakfast was the one food item I was slacking on when I was making my food stock pile and showing Carl how to cook. ¬†For some reason he’s just terrible at making breakfast, especially oats?! ¬†When you have to ask someone if they’ve ever eaten before, because you just can’t believe the weird taste they’ve created you know you’ve got to come up with a breakfast alternative fast.

What’s a quicker breakfast than granola? Maybe a frozen waffle! but that was a slippery slope into unhealthy eating that I’m just not willing to take, especially during these crucial healing times!

This healthy golden milk granola is a great anti inflammatory breakfast or just a quick grab and go snack.  Its a fast way to get all the benefits of warm golden milk.  This traditional Ayurveda beverage harnesses some of the most potent healing spices, while giving you an immunity boost.

TURMERIC BENEFITS

  1. Helps with pain management.  After delivering your baby, you will be surprised of all the muscles you worked during labour.
  2. Helps manage depression.  When all those hormones come flooding out of your body, most of us gets hit with a couple of baby blues.
  3. Anti inflammatory.
  4. Helps fight against cancer
  5. Helps with digestive complaints.

GINGER BENEFITS

  1. Helps with nausea and indigestion.
  2. Helps with digestion
  3. Boost your immune system.
  4. Helps fight bacterial and fungal infections.
  5. Helps relieve pain.

CINNAMON BENEFITS

  1. High source of antioxidants.
  2. fights inflammation in the body.
  3. Protects your heart health.
  4. Fights diabetes
  5. Fights against infections and viruses.

FENNEL SEED  BENEFITS

  1. Increases breast milk production.
  2. Helps aid digestion.
  3. Relieves water retention.
  4. Relieves menstrual problems
  5. Protects against cancer.

Pair all those benefits with oats and you’ve got yourself a great anti inflammatory, lactation aiding, really yummy, super breakfast.

GOLDEN MILK GRANOLAserves 12

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C.

In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts, seeds, salt and spices.

Stir to blend

Pour in the oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix well to get the oats covered well.

Spread the granola out on a baking sheet. ¬†Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until golden. ¬†Stir halfway through. ¬†I lower the heat a bit when I place the granola in the oven. ¬†I’ve had a lot of burning granola issues. ¬†Remember to keep checking on the granola so it doesn’t burn. ¬†When you take it out it wont be as crisp as you would want it, but it will crisp up as it cools.

Allow to completely cool.  Stir in raisins and place in an airtight container.

 

 

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Went for a hike on the hottest day….It kind of felt like I was walking around in hell, maybe its just because I’m 9 months pregnant and heat is just a no go.

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^^ Praying on the mountain. ¬†After the terrible year we’ve been having, praying on the mountain seems like the only logical thing to do.

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^^ The view was nice.

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^^all you need on a hot day is some home made sushi…YUM.

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^^ Testing out lactation cookies.  These ones are definitely my favourite!  Sugar free and gluten free.  It reminds me of a seed cake.

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^^ Teff flour gingerbread men.  Sooooo good.

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^^ Christmas cookies!

Hi guys! How was your weekend? ¬†We’ve been busy! We’ve had to open our house up to people interesting in buying and man! is it a nightmare. ¬†People constantly walking in your rental while I’m just trying to relax before the birth, can kind of start driving you insane. Not to mention that you have to keep changing your plans to accommodate the realtor, but oh, well. ¬†I’ve been preparing a lot of freezer friendly confinement meals, as well as little work treats for Carl. ¬†You don’t realise how exhausting a whole day of cooking is until you’re covered in flour, have weird substances all over your clothes and you just wonder if you should just burn the house down instead of trying to clean it! ¬†But I’m nearly done with my list, just finishing up a couple of my last recipes today and we are set!

I’ve been feeling so glum and excited these last couple of days. ¬†Excited for the baby to finally be here, baby has been the best thing to happen to us this year and just glum about how this year really has kicked us down and brought me so low. ¬†Sometimes it feels hard to smile through it and have faith that things will work out, but I do believe things will get better soon. ¬†Sometimes we need these hardships just so we can see what we are made of.

Flavourful Aquafaba Mayonnaise

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, everyone in the vegan/ allergy world has heard about the miracle that is aquafaba! If you haven’t its okay, my dear little rock dwelling friend, now you know about the miracle that is basically bean juice…..Yes, bean juice, or the brine left behind in a can of chickpeas for the less dramatic. ¬†This miracle brine has been a lifesaver for egg-free cooking, being able to be whipped up to make light and fluffy meringue, macaroons, replacing eggs in cakes and baked goods and making the most amazing thick egg free mayonnaise.

This flavourful mayonnaise is something you definitely need to try.  Garlicky with  the perfect amount of tang, this is a recipe to keep bookmarked and keep making over and over. Its also really versatile, play around with it until you have something that makes your taste-buds sing, if you like more garlic.  Add it! This is a perfectly flavoured recipe for me, but we all like things differently.  Add some herbs for a fancier mayonnaise or an added taste kick.  Just be prepared to feel like a cooking genius, this recipe is that easy to whip up, but will impress all your friends and family.

FLAVOURFUL AQUAFABA MAYONNAISEserves 16 

Aquafaba  Mayonnaise

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp aquafaba, the leftover brine from a can of chickpeas, or freshly cooked beans.
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 – 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp liquid sweetener
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4 – 1 cup oil ( I used olive oil, but sunflower or canola would work)

Directions

Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a blender or food processor.

While blending on low-medium, start adding the oil slowly. ¬†About a tablespoon at a time, until you’ve used up all the oil. ¬† The mixture will thicken up fast.

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Taste and adjust seasoning.

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Transfer to a bowl or glass jar.  Store in fridge for 2 weeks.  Use on everything!

Gluten Free Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie bars

I’ve been on a complete pumpkin kick lately! I just want to make everything pumpkin-y. ¬†Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin cupcakes, and of course these amazing pumpkin pie bars! ¬†When I started making these I knew the gingery crust would pair perfectly with the smooth custardy goodness of the pumpkin filling, when I made the pumpkin filling and tried it, it actually took all the willpower a heavily pregnant woman could take not to just take the filling, go hide in the closet and just eat the entire bowl, that’s how good it is!

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I’m glad I didn’t waste all the filling on my instant gratification need and decided this needs to be bars, because WOWZA! I just can’t get enough of these things, the fact that I don’t have any left kind of makes me want to cry, call it pregnancy hormones or the real life truth that there are no pumpkin pie bars in my fridge, maybe its just a combination of both? ¬†What ever it is, all I know is I need to make more. STAT!

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What makes these extra special? Is the fact that’s its sugar free and gluten free, you don’t ¬†even need to feel guilty while binge eating these. ¬†The coconut flour ginger crust reminds me of a graham cracker or gingersnap cookie, paired with the smooth pumpkin filling and just the perfect touch of coconut whipped cream with 1/2 tsp of cardamom added to the mix, you’re in for a whirlwind of yum!

GLUTEN FREE SUGAR FREE PUMPKIN PIE BARS  Р9 Р12 bars

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Ingredients

Crust

  • 4 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil ( at room temperature)
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Pumpkin Filling

  • 1 can pumpkin puree or 2 cups puree
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup – Increase it if you want it sweeter
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp xantham gum – optional its creates a firmer filling
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and a half tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions

Crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ 180 degrees C.

In a large bowl, mix together the honey, coconut oil and spices, until creamy.  You can use a hand blender for this, I just used my trusty hand.

Fold in the coconut flour and mix until it forms a dough.

Press the dough evenly in a prepared pan and bake until slightly golden about 5 Р8 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Filling

Place everything in your blender and blend until well combined.  Taste the mixture and adjust seasoning to your preference.    Pour the filling into the prepared crust and spread it around evenly.

Bake for 20 Р40 minutes or until the pie is firm but still jiggly.  Let cool and place in the fridge overnight to properly set.

Cut the pie bars, serve with a dollop of cardamom coconut whipped cream and enjoy your masterpiece!

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an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Pretty flowers on our first walk around the new hood.

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^^ Found this cute little conservation area close to our new house.  We also found a huge snake that made me almost poop my pants.

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^^ Green grass and mountains.

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^^ We were really exhausted from moving from a top floor apartment, but we still took the time to go for a walk and really relax.

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^^ Shrubbery everywhere.

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^^ The wind was really intense and it was so humid and hot in this little conservation area it was such a drastic change.

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^^ The beach close to our house.

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^^ First selfie on the balcony.

Hello wonderful people! How are you all today? I hope you had a great weekend and your Monday goes by faster than it showed up!We finally moved into our new little house amongst the mountains, after a gruelling two days, thanks to the old tenants leaving this place in a horrid state and me going into must sanitise house completely for baby mode, we are finally a bit settled. ¬†I always assumed its etiquette to clean a house before you leave it? Apparently not. ¬†I’m usually 5 seconds away from leaving chocolates on the pillows for new tenants when I leave a place. ¬†With all the chaos and our internet not being set up yet we haven’t watched general conference yet, but with instagram always showing us little snippets it seems like a good one! I can’t wait to watch it.

This pregnancy has brought out a horrible monster inside of me, I just can’t stop ignorance and silly comments to do with the fact that we don’t want to know the baby’s gender, that we want to keep things gender neutral even though we’ve been getting boy coloured outfits that just boggles my mind and the fact that I don’t want kitschy character printed outfits. ¬†I never understand why people have to say obscene, hurtful, ignorant things and afterwards say they’re only joking, its like Freud says: There are no jokes. ¬†Well not in circumstances like this most of the time people just say what they want not worrying how it comes across just so they can cover it up with saying its a joke. Why can’t we all just be respectful? Is it really that hard? ¬†Pregnancy hormone rant over!

The Cats of Ireland

I don’t know what it is about Ireland and cats, but everywhere I’ve gone cats have been drawn to me. ¬†Either I’m made out of catnip or all these cats are just really friendly, its been ridiculous I feel like a deity or something great to these cats. ¬†Everywhere I go I get the cutest little meow and a storm towards me, maybe I’ve got a sign on me that says “good for strokes” or maybe I’m in the cat pages for “best cuddle of your life”. ¬† Whatever it is I ain’t mad one bit.

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^^ Really getting into those face boops.

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^^ The flat eared beauty.

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^^ I look like a cat burglar.  Just blending in.

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^^ This kitty used my entire body as a stroking ground.

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^^ Oh, so friendly!

More kitty strokes, please!

Do you want to go to the seaside?

You know what’s a good motto to live by? Just do it! Don’t wait for that perfect day to do something, or you might never end up doing it. ¬†That’s especially true here in Ireland. ¬†If you keep waiting for that perfect sunny day to get out you are going to surely miss out on a lot! ¬†It does get sunny here, but more often than not its raining, and boy, do I love it! Its so much easier to do stuff in colder weather, than in boiling hot weather. ¬†A little rain never hurt anyone and its rather romantic to take a stroll in the rain and just go explore. ¬†Ireland is green for a reason, it rains a lot! but that’s what makes it so beautiful to me, the beautiful grey skies, with the vivid greenery is like something out of a painting, and when the skies are blue, its bluer than the bluest, blue you’ve ever seen! Blue times infinity!

I’ve walked on a lot of beaches in my life, but the beaches in Ireland is where all Indie songs are probably written. ¬†You just expect to see someone breaking up, getting engaged or just throwing that engagement ring in the ocean, Yeah its that kind of ocean. ¬†The moody kind, where dogs come to poop and rocks look elegant. ¬†Where you can find seashells and tilling of a house from times past? ¬†So get your coat, grab an umbrella if you want and go for a walk!

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^^ The sun is trying its best to explode out of the clouds.

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^^ A hidden cove, perfect for your pirate booty

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^^ My hat is eating my head, but it was really windy.  I call this look bag lady chic?

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^^ Really cold posing.  Like you do.

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^^ windy days.

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^^ Carl’s new smile, because he got told he’s got a fake smile. haha.