Author: gardnerag7286

Hi, I'm Annie and this little space of the internet is where I share pieces of our life. Besides being married to my best friend, becoming a mother is the best thing that's happened to me. These little ones are constantly shaping me into a better person and teaching me the important things in this beautiful life we live.

Whole 30 Thai Pork Meatballs

Happy Monday, Everyone!

If you’re still putting together your weekly menu, this recipe is a must–Whole 30 or not! While doing my last Whole 30 back in January, I found myself making my own recipes for different dinners, to make them Whole 30 compliant. This is a favorite that I came up with, and I think you will enjoy it! Even my kids LOVE it!

Enjoy!

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Whole 30 Thai Pork Meatballs

2lbs of ground pork

1/2 red bell pepper diced

1/4 tsp fresh ginger grated

1tsp garlic minced

3 green scallions cut small

2 tbsp fresh basil chopped

2 tbsp coconut amnios

2 tbsp coconut flour

1 egg

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Preheat oven to 375– Add all prepared ingredients to a large bowl.

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Mix well with hands, and form into 1-2inch balls

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium/high heat with 2 tbsp of coconut oil.

Add meat balls to skillet and let cook for 5 minutes.

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Place in oven for an additional 15-20 minutes (sometimes I flip them if they aren’t getting crispy on the top side)

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Sauce

1/4 cup of coconut aminos

1tsp sesame oil

1/2 lemon juiced

1 tsp fresh ginger

*Wisk all ingredients together. Serve meatballs on lettuce with sliced avocado and cucumber. Top with sauce.

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If you have any questions, please contact me! Would love to hear your feedback!

Essential Oils–Why it’s essential!

If you haven’t checked out the Essential Oil page on my blog, you can find it here. It’s a really good place to start, because I talk about what oils are, and the basics.

Since starting my essential oil journey, I’ve basically been eating, sleeping and breathing oils… quite literarily! I’ve learned so much in just a few short months, and it constantly amazes me, and has me wanting to learn more. Because this has become such a huge part of our lives (like, super amazing and magical part) I want to share them with YOU and see them change YOUR lifestyle and wellness as well!

Why is it Essential

Questions I see so often when someone shows interest in oils– Why Young Living? Why not the cheaper oils you can conveniently purchase at your nearest grocery store, (or from other companies that have started selling them…I’m really trying not to get started on this one…..) What’s the difference, and why pay more for Young Living? I get these questions, I probably would have asked them too, but let me ask you–Would you agree with me that your health and your body is important and keeping a healthy body is something we all strive for? For me, staying healthy and ensuring my body’s wellness, is something I live for everyday. Not just for me, but for my kids as well. When I’m putting something on their little bodies, I want to know the ingredients, and know I’m not causing them harm now, or harm in their future. Our wellness and the future of it is essential!

Choosing Oils is Essential

Young Living oils are 100% therapeutic grade oils. Which means the entire bottle is 100% therapeutical grade oil. No dilution. Ever. (in the link I posted above to my EO page, you’ll read about Young Living’s Seed to Seal process and this truly sets them apart from any other company!!) When you buy oils at your grocery store or healthy food market, it may say 100% essential oil, but that may mean 10% of what’s in the bottle is 100% essential oil, and the rest is, who knows what! So really, you may be buying 20% essential oil, and the rest is some sort of carrier oil. The store bought oil, you will probably have to use half a bottle, maybe more, to get the benefits of what 5 drops of Young Living oils can do. So, which to you think will have the most benefit for your family? No brainer, right? I mean quality makes all the difference when it comes to our wellness and the wellness of those who we love!

This is me getting started on ^ that one…

So, when I saw Scentsy started selling essential oils, I kind of laughed out loud a little, because it’s not about the scent at all… (at least not completely) I mean, if you’re only looking for an oil, because you want it to smell good, please buy oils from Scentsy. Kidding, don’t. Please don’t….. Oils aren’t about the smell, I mean, sure some of them smell really nice (lavender, Stress Away, Jasmine) but others have to grow on you, and some never do, which I have found, are the ones I need the most in my life! If you are looking to use oils for wellness, the compounds that make up these oils, how they are extracted, tested and bottled, are far more important than what they smell like. It’s much, much more, than just a fragrance, its essential!

If you’ve read my posts, and your thinking “wow, this sounds awesome, maybe I should try these!?” Yes, you should! Take the leap, try them, love them, and share them! Your life is essential!

Email me, or private message me on social media for questions and info on how to get started! ❤ Sign up under me here or ask the person, who’s reached out to you about oils, how to sign up under them!

 

Thomas Spring 2017

Editing these photos was almost as fun as taking them–super easy!! I’m so use to taking photos of my children, where it’s a chore sometimes to get both of them to look at the camera, smile, or even want to have their photo taken. It was so fun working with Thomas, who was so natural and so relaxed! I love all of these photos (especially his “Fun Pose” photos below!)

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^^ Probably my favorite two photos– so fun to be a kid!!!^^

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^^Love this smile!^^

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Haley and Logan Prom 2017

You guys, how cute are these two?! They were such a fun couple to photograph! Haley’s dress was stunning, and Logan’s smile, was perfect! So happy I got to be a part of their exciting day!

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…and then there were…..

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THREE!!!!!!

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 We are so excited and blessed to be adding another life to our family!! Rosalie is so excited, and we’re actually surprised she’s been able to keep it somewhat of a secret for the past 4 weeks…. Llewyn just loves life, and is excited about anything Rosalie is excited about!         David says “We’re getting that much closer to a pit crew!” he he he

I couldn’t be happier!!! ❤

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Cauliflower Tortillas– A fun weekend recipe!

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So, last month, I did the whole 30 diet, where you eliminate gluten, soy, dairy, all sugars minus fruit, (hmmm.. am I missing something.. because it seemed like a lot more..) and let me tell you, it was challenging at times (every time I passed a star bucks) but very rewarding, and I could see a huge change in my body. The diet really forced me to get creative in the kitchen and try different recipes and use foods in ways I never would have thought of. Like cauliflower tortillas…(who thinks of this stuff?!) But you guys, my whole family really enjoyed trying all these crazy recipes, and some of them are sticking around, even though my whole thirty month is over! I shared the sweet potato toast here and I hope some of you tried it, and loved it! (tell me what you thought!?) So, this was another popular recipe, so I though I would share it as well. Happy Friday, you guys! Have a great weekend, and enjoy!

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Cauliflower Tortillas

1 head of cauliflower

2 eggs

juice of 1 lime

handful of cilantro chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a blender or food processor, pulse cauliflower (in batches) until it becomes a rice constancy.

place in a microwaveable bowl, and microwave for 3 minutes, stir and microwave another 3 minutes. (this helps to draw out the moisture)

Place in a cheese cloth (or paper towels) to remove excess water. (you have to really squeeze the water out)

Place back in bowl, add whisked eggs, lime juice, cilantro and salt and pepper. Mix until well blended.

Form a palm size ball of mixture, squeezing out any extra liquid, press out on cookie sheet, forming a thin tortilla size shape. (this part is kinda hard to explain, but once you start, you’ll get the picture!)

After you’ve used all your mixture (definitely takes 2 cookies sheets sometimes 3) bake tortillas on each side for 15 to 20 minutes until they start to brown, and crisp up around the edges. (they may take longer depending upon your oven)

Once they are done, you can serve as is, or in a cast iron skillet, heat a little oil (we use sunflower seed) on medium/high heat, and place tortillas in skillet (flipping) for more crispiness.

We ate ours with fajita topping one night, and Italian sausages with fried onions and peppers another night. We are excited to try fish tacos with them next! If you have any questions, please leave a comment, and I’m happy to help. Enjoy!

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14 Days of Love

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  Happy February!! Getting excited about spreading lots of love this month!  Valentines day is a favorite of mine, not sure if its all the hearts, all the pink, or just all the LOVE!  Have you guys noticed how every year, like with any holiday, Valentines day has become more and more commercialized? It’s become more about expressing your love through giving expensive gifts, and less about pinpointing all the reasons you love that person in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I love giving gifts, and receiving gifts, but can’t you show someone you love them, without spending money? David and I always go out to dinner, some where (where chicken nuggets aren’t on the menu) because honestly, just that time together, with out the kids, enjoying each others company, with out having to negotiate how many bites are left until dessert, is the greatest!! This year, we both have so many things going on, but I want to take the time everyday for 14 days, to let David know how much I love and appreciate him. It’s so easy to over look the small things, like when he remembers to plug my phone in, because I don’t, or brings me a glass of water before bed, because he knows I need it, even if I don’t think I do, or letting me and the kids watch our movie, instead of what he wants to watch. These things sound small, but to me they are huge, and often over looked. So, for the next 14 days, everyday, I’m going to leave my husband a surprise note, something I’m thankful for, or reason’s why I’m so happy he’s mine (there are SO MANY!)

Today, I’m leaving a little note in his work truck, that he’ll find later today. One of my favorite qualities about my husband–his faith, and the Godly man he is for our family! “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:28 We love because Christ loved us first! I’m such a blessed woman, to have a husband, who shows me this kind of love, even during the times when I don’t deserve it! ❤ So many hearts!!

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Another idea, if you and your spouse haven’t read the book, Love and Respect, its a good one, and would be an awesome read during this loving season! dsc_0700

dsc_0720I’m not going to share every day, but if you want to follow along, and do 14 days of love as well, please do! Let’s spread all kinds of love to everyone! #14daysoflove

Monday Mornings

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Happy Monday, friends!! I hope everyone’s week is off to a wonderful start!

So, I did mention, last Monday, I would be sharing some exciting stuff this week, so here we are! While sitting down a few weeks ago, going over what kinds of goals our family would aim for this year, of course, health is always at the top of any ones list, but when talking about health are we talking about, fitness related, dietary related, sleep…( because we know thats on my list) or maybe just focusing on what little things we can change, through out our daily life, that would have a huge impact, like removing chemicals from our homes! Sounds difficult, yep! Sounds like a lot of work, yep! Sounds expensive, yep! I sound like a quack right?  I know, I know, but hear me out! I mean, chemicals are in everything.. cleaning supplies, shampoos, lotions, baby wipes, our food, shampoo, laundry detergent and dryer sheets, basically everything. And the crazy part is, this stuff is being put on our bodies, are in our clothes, that our bodies wear for HOURS, on our beds.. yeah, I could keep going, but you might be freaking out at this point. Now, I realize, this is something that may take weeks, maybe months, possibly years, but YOU GUYS…. we are worth it, our children deserve it!

Let me explain to you how I got here…

So, I have a ton of friends, who use essential oils, or products with the oils in them, to replace the chemicals in their homes, along with other benefits. I was always like, “Seriously, who has the time for all that!? Make my own this and that… no thanks!” Finding the time in the day, to fold laundry and give the kids a bath is hard enough!  So, it basically came down to me cleaning the tub one day, and the cleaner I was using was burning my eyes ( I think it was like comet scrub bubbles or something) and I had a thought–about how I was washing the place my children come to get clean, with these awful chemicals, that are burning my eyes! I’ve always used BabyGanics hygiene products on my kids, yet I’m washing the tub with this potent, toxic, garbage that is probably making it’s way into their little bodies every time they step foot in this polluted place!! (if you think I’m a nut, go to ewg.org, and read up on your cleaners or detergents!) So then, I thought back to that friend, who had already made this awesome decision for her family, and who had sent me samples even! I reached out to her, and she introduced me to Young Living, their products, and everything they have to offer, and David and I were amazed. You guys, we aren’t just talking essential oils, but I’m talking all natural, plant based, house hold cleaners, shampoo, vitamins, laundry soaps, and a whole line for kids, and that doesn’t even touch it. Life changing! I mean really, its going to be life changing!

So, what I’m trying to get at is, there are all sorts of  ways to improve our lifestyles, our children’s lives, and even if you are taking one tiny step at a time, thats huge, you are heading in the right direction! We can’t get their over night, but we can get there. Our lives are so far from perfect, there are so many improvements we could make to become healthier, but as long as we continue to realize that, and move forward, making one improvement at a time, that’s something to celebrate and be proud of!

So, I’m going to continue sharing with you all, about all the amazing products we try,  how we are applying them to our lives, and just our journey into living a healthier life, in hopes that it helps one family! If you want more info about what we’re doing, message me or comment below. I would be happy to give suggestions, advice, or samples, if you’re interested in making this change with me! If you want to try the products, and make a wholesale account (and get 24% off and earn free stuff through essential rewards!!) you can go here.  You can also go here and check out Young Living’s products, because they truly are amazing. Anyone who purchases a premium starter kit, through the month of February, will receive a Thieves household cleaner, from me!! Here are a few photos, of my favorite little items in the starter kit minus the diffuser!

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^^ sorry thats so blurry, but those my friends, are like liquid gold!^^ (insert all the praise emojis)

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Have a great week, everyone!!! Hugs!

Sweet Potato Toast– Our favorites!

Something I really enjoy doing, that I don’t often share on my blog, is cooking and experimenting with recipes and different foods. My children, are picky eaters, so trying to find things they approve and that are healthy, can be a challenge. Rosalie, being four, has become really interested in food, cooking, and knowing all about what she’s eating. She loves to watch me cook, and to pitch in and help. My mom let me cook, from the age I could reach the stove, and gosh, I remember having so many failures, but I loved it, and it educated me, so that I could make healthy decisions now! I believe it’s so important for our children to learn about foods, (real foods, not just what’s in a box, because who can seriously read those ingredients?) know what they are eating, and to be able to make healthy decisions for them selves, even at four! Having fun in the kitchen, is not only awesome family bonding time, but gives children a sort of responsibility to feel like they are trusted to make good decisions with what they choose to eat. It’s also our responsibility as parents, to invest this time into teaching them to live a healthier life, because its going to lead to how they live their lives in the future! So, I’ve decided to try to write and share more kid friendly/healthy ideas for kids, for you mommas, (or anyone) who struggle with ideas… I struggle daily!

Here is a quick, and easy recipe for sweet potato toast! I don’t eat bread (if I can help it) so I don’t really make meals with bread, other than Rosalie’s sandwich for school everyday. This toast is such a healthy alternative, and has really become a favorite in our house!

Sweet Potato Toast 

Try to buy the largest sweet potatoes you can find (they are easier to cut and make better toast)

Peel your potatoes, and preheat your oven to 375F

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper

Slice your potatoes in thin slice (or really how ever thick or thin you want them) dsc_0566

When I’m making these, I make a lot so I can store them in the fridge and use them as needed throughout the week! Just pop them in your toaster oven!

After the potatoes are sliced line them on the sheet, and brush both sides with olive oil (not necessary but I always do)

Bake for 15-20 minutes per side (mine aren’t normally super crispy, so if you like that, you may want to bake them longer)

I store mine in the fridge for 1 week and when I need a few, I either pop them in the toaster a couple times, or heat up a skilled and toast them on the stove.

Here are our favorite ways to eat them!

We like to add some almond butter (or peanut butter) fruit, cinnamon, and a bit of honey! (this is probably my favorite and is an awesome filling breakfast)

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We also love adding chicken or tuna salad, topped with avocado! (the options are endless!)

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And this is Rosalie’s favorite because.. anything with bacon! Am I right!?

So, a little BLT! Sometimes, I even add a slice hard boiled egg!

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I hope you try it, and like it! If you have any questions, or felt I left something out, leave a comment, and I’ll be happy to help!