GROCERY SHOPPING IS LIKE CILANTRO

I  feel like being nice today. And I am hungry, so with that, you get FOOD!!

Grocery shopping is like cilantro. People either love it or hate it.

I personally live for it. (Not cilantro…that shit is fucking disgusting!!)cv07QpA

But Grocery shopping…oh man…I feel like every trip to Aldi is an adventure!

I also love putting all of my groceries away in neat and tidy locations, just where they belong in the fridge. Sigh…makes me smile! Yes I’m weird.

So with my weirdness I’ve made a fun little list for you all.

The perfect grocery list for healthy foods to get you through the aisles.

Remember, don’t buy all of these things, just pic and choose based on your recipes!

And don’t forget, if you need recipes, check out my Pinterest…it’s choc full of them!

And if you need Meal Prep Ideas, check out these POSTS!!

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“I’M READY TO LISTEN”…SAID BETWEEN HEAVING SOBS AND STOMPING FEET!

“Have a kid”, they said!

“It’ll be fun”, they said!

“Three years is way harder than two” they said.

“WTF?!?” I said.

Why do people tell you to have children and then when you do, they tell you all the shitty stuff??

It’s like this big prank the world plays on you!

The social media outlets show the highlight reels; your parents regale you with stories of how cute you were as a baby; you nieces and nephews only show the best sides of themselves when you are around; your friends with kids tell you how great it is…

And then you pop this screaming, needy, pooping thing out…AND THEN they tell you all the horror stories.

I feel like this is a terribly unfair method of convincing someone to have a kid. I mean, if you heard all of the ways children rob you of time, money and sanity, who would do it??

I know our population would seriously suffer (but honestly maybe that’s a good thing)!

And in full honesty, I am writing this is the midst of one of the most epic tantrums we’ve ever experienced so I am being a bit harsh, but really, I mean REALLY…OH MY GOD MY EARS ARE BLEEDING!!!

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Ever just want to yell “SHUT UP!” but then you come to your senses JUUUUST enough to say it in a really quiet but exaggerated-faced whisper?? Me. Right. Now.

Ok, so I’m going to put a positive and productive spin on this because it’s what always keeps me sane during challenging times.

Here are my tips to remaining calm and sane during 3 year-old tantrums.

  1. We just discovered the fact that we can send her to her room so we don’t have to hear it. Maybe its the fact that we can trust her up there now, or maybe we’re just slow to come to this, but the dulled screaming is a lot more manageable.
  2. The Whining Chair. A lot of our tantrums escalate from whining. And we learned to intersect that quickly so it doesn’t end up in a full-on thrash-fest, with, The Whining Chair. It’s just what it sounds like. A chair in  another room for her to sit in when she starts whining. Once she has settled down for a full minute we start the timer and she needs to sit there for 3 minutes. This is different from a timeout because it is expressly for whining.
  3. Recognizing the triggers. For our child, TV + Tired = RUN FOR THE FUCKING HILLS! So when she is tired we don’t even think about TV. Except today, we fucked up. And now I’m writing this.
  4. Rather than distracting the child, I prefer to distract myself, hence, writing right now! A lot of “distractions” for kids when they are behaving badly come in the form of rewards and i don’t believe we should teach them this is ok. So I don’t reward the bad behavior. We have consequences, such as timeout, and if there is a melt-down, we adults, distract ourselves with something fun!
  5. If there is a certain behavior that is a problem and leads to tantrums or whining and is done in an appropriate manner, we reward. So, when our daughter is hungry, if she starts immediately whining that she wants something to eat she goes to The Whining Chair. If she is hungry and asks nicely, we overly praise and then she gets to put a sticker on her chart. 3 stickers per day for a week = a tiny toy reward form the dollar store.

So, there you have it. 5 ways to get through or avoid a tantrum. And as I finish up, the noise is slowly quieting down from upstairs so I will now go talk to her about why she was up there to begin with.

Thanks for sticking with me.

 

STAY ON TRACK IN SWEATER-SEASON

It’s upon us again. The football games, the bulky sweaters, the crispness to the air. All of this wonderfulness surrounding us with the cozy feels of fall.

Is there anything better than throwing on the chunky sweater or that Alma-Mater hoodie and heading to a friend’s house for beers, appies and bbq to watch the big game?

But lest we forget…this is the season where the little things DO add up. And just because we’re covering up with our turtle-necks and hoodies doesn’t mean it’s not happening!

The food, the late nights, the beers. All of these can completely destroy any healthy routines you had in place over the summer. Your perfectly adhered-to diet, your early morning yoga or runs, your “only drink on the weekend” rules etc. All of it can fall off (just like the leaves) in a second!

So rather than undo everything you’ve worked for and then have to make a New Years resolution when you realize how far its gone, keep the work going but adapt it to the cozy vibes of autumn.

Recipes like chili, butternut squash soup, and even spaghetti can all be made healthily and easily! Workouts can be moved outside and your morning routine can be made even cozier with the right touches.

Here are a few tips on how to stay on track so your NYR can be something fun like skydiving or getting rich!!

  1. Meal prep cozy healthy meals. Homemade turkey chili or white chicken chili are great options. Or sub out pasta for spaghetti squash or cook a delectable soup out lentils or squash. Check out my Pinterest for more ideas! Kelly Spencer Fall Recipe Ideas
  2. Utilize the seasonal food to your advantage. Squash, zucchini, pumpkins, apples are all in full harvest so they are also a lot cheaper. Rather than hitting up your grocery store, head out to pick-your-own farms with the family for some exercise and fun. Plan ahead though and don’t pick too much or you’ll end up wasting a lot. Have back-up recipes in case you do end up with overflow (like applesauce and soups!)
  3. Take it outside! The summer is brutal for running and working out outside. The fall is every athletes dream. Go for a foliage trail run, hit up outdoor climbing wall, kayak or canoe while the air is chilly and the water is warm. Bike rides, family walks, pick-up soccer games are all amazing ways to burn off the calories and get some fresh air!
  4. It’s hard to say no to the beer at the football games, I know, so instead come prepared with a low-cal option like hard sparkling water (I love is White Claw!).
  5. Continue to get up early! Just because it’s darker doesn’t mean the clock has changed. To enjoy your routine and entice yourself out of bed invest in come flavored coffee like hazelnut, cinnamon or pumpkin…just don’t go get the flavored creamer or specialty drinks at you-know-where every day!

So as you can see you fall does not have to be your undoing! It can generate new ideas for recipes, fun ways to stay in shape that involve the whole family and additional options for drinks! Most of all, enjoy this special time of year!

WORRYING DOES NOTHING ON ITS OWN

Worrying is human nature. We all do it.  We do it in times of individual stress and we do in times of crisis for the ones we love. But worrying left to sit on its own is a putrid, nasty little virus that eats away at you and spreads to others quickly. It causes side affects such a lack of sleep, anxiety, complaining, and antsiness.

It strikes us when we are helpless, or we feel helpless.

Waiting for a loved one to get out of surgery, watching our kids deal with a bully, waiting to hear how our child does on a test, fearing where the next paycheck will come from… all of these types of things eat us alove. Those are just examples…but today, today is real. My greatest worry is this huge fucking storm devastating The Caribbean where I have dear friends hunkered down. unnamed (1)

So when worry hits, there is one great cure.

DO SOMETHING.

Whether its something to help those in crisis or something to keep your mind busy until you receive definitive news. Because its living in the land of the unknown that causes this malaise.

So if it’s writing out your feelings like I do, if its researching the ways you can help once the storm has passed like I am doing, or if it’s cleaning your house to wait for word that your peeps are safe, do something. It’s healthier for everyone involved.

HACK THE HACK! SAVE TIME & MONEY WITH THESE 5 MEAL PREP HACKS!

Yes, I’ve written about ways to save time and money when it comes to food before but I’m kind of obsessed so I’m doing it again.

I love that Meal-prepping is a hack.. and now I’ve come up with 5 ways to hack the hack!

Once I started working from home I thought I could bail on the meal prepping.

WRONG!!

I actually need it now more than ever. Working from home does not have as much structure or consistency as a normal ninetofive. It also allows me to wander into the kitchen aimlessly and pick at food I shouldn’t be…and that shouldn’t even be in there!

So I decided MPing is back on in this house and I want to share by top tips to saving moola, time and energy is the process.

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1 – LEFTOVERS ARE THE BEST!

Pick 4 recipes for dinners and make enough for 3 nights of left-over meals. Chilli, casseroles, soups and stuffed cabbages are great for these.

2 – CARRYOVER INGREDIENTS!

Pick recipes that have carryover ingredients while still remaining in different genres. Examples are chicken tacos, chicken casseroles and chicken salad for lunch. This way you can bake all the chicken at the same time but it will go into 3 very different meals. And buying in bulk is always best/saves the most money.

3 – DON’T THROW SHIT AWAY!

Go through your fridge before shopping to see what is left for fruits and veggies that you can incorporate into this next week of meals. Leftover veggies are great for soups, cabbage “keeps” forever, freeze your fruit for smoothies for breakfast etc. Wasting is BAD! You should never have an overflowing garbage can when loading up your fridge after going to the store.

4 – BAKING TEMPS MATTER!

Pick recipes that allow you to cook things at the same temperatures. Being able to bake chicken while also baking a “one sheet pan” recipe of steak or sausage allows you to throw it all in at once!

5 – UTILIZE DIFFERENT METHODS!

Pick recipes that allow you to have different cooking methods that can be going all at the same time, i.e. crock potting chili, stove-topping soup and baking chicken. This will seriously cut down on time.

Bonus: Plan to be able to use your scraps! GET CREATIVE!! I made a one-sheet pan recipe today with sausage and cabbage and used my leftover cabbage for Greek Yogurt coleslaw! Win Win!

 

THE SETTLERS DIDN’T EVEN SETTLE!!

The settlers who took over America were assholes, but they were determined assholes. They did anything BUT settle when it came to their goals. What they did do, was kick their feet up and get nice and comfy by the fire once they had achieved them! (Actually they were probably out fighting grizzly bears and chopping down wood and reaping the land so there probably was no settling to be had at all!)

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The word settle originally meant to adopt a steady life, a secure life (I’m not so sure the original settlers had a secure life anyway!) So, when did steady and secure begin to mean life-sucking and boring?

As parent’s we understand that we have to make money. Those tiny little birds with their beaks pointed to the sky chirping incessantly to be fed can’t get out there and bring home the bacon for themselves!

But when did making a paycheck as a parent become a synonym for settling? When did making a paycheck start meaning we had to give up what we love? When did making a paycheck start meaning we had to change who we were from walking out of the office to walking in our front door?

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How many times have you heard or said “well, I hate my job, but _________ won’t pay the bills!”

We live in an era where __________ can pay the bills! There are so many freaking opportunities out there in the world to live your passion!!

We have one life. ONE LIFE.

When you are laying on your deathbed, do you want to say, “well, I’m glad I saved an extra 100k for retirement,” or do you want to be saying “I am so happy for the life I had and the people I’ve known and the experiences I made!”

Yes, we need to pay the bills. But squeaking by while being gloriously happy trumps living in comfort while dreading Monday every week.

If you believe in what you, love what you do, the money will come.

And if it doesn’t, at least you can say you tried. And you don’t have to tell your kids that live life means to give up before even trying.

And to prove to you that your passions can pay the bills check out this list of the Top 15 Interesting, Unique and Weird Jobs!

 

IT’S OK TO ASK QUESTIONS

Children are amazingly honest and perfectly curious about everything in life.

The reason they ask ten million questions a day is because they have this intense desire to learn and gain insight into everything going around them in the world.

Around the age of four or five children develop the ability to become embarrassed. And we, as parents, do a really good job of taking advantage of that. Whether we mean to or not, we are sure to let them know that they should never do something to “embarrass themselves” or “embarrass their parents.”

That sucks doesn’t it? That we start conditioning our kids so early on to give a shit about what others think of them? To imply that acting in a way other than the way they feel good about, is abnormal or not okay or the big E word?

So it brings me to this…all of us have been conditioned in our lives to feel embarrassment. And one of the biggest things that our children do, before we brainwash them into feeling embarrassed themselves (and yes I do this too, I’m saying “we”), is to stare, point or ask questions about other people that don’t fit in the tiny box of what we call NORMAL (blagh I hate that word!!!).

As soon as a child sees someone in a wheelchair, they want to know why! WHY IS THAT BAD!!??

As soon as a child sees someone with any handicap they want to know why they are different! WHY IS THAT BAD!?!?

As soon as a child sees someone with skin different than theirs, or a homeless person, or a woman in a Hijab they want to know why! WHY THE FUCK IS THAT BAD!?!?

All of these people are people in our world. They are people that make our lives richer, our lives diverse and bring awareness to the differences in the society we live in!

So when a child asks questions, answer them in an honest way! Don’t say, “it’s not nice to stare!” Say “that man is in a wheelchair because his legs don’t work” or “that little girl is wearing a helmet because she liked to sleep on one side so much it flattened out her head a little bit so doctors are helping make her head round!” (BTW those are super common– those soft and squishy little heads paired with the all-elusive super-sleepers like this sweet chunk in the pic make for some excellently flat heads)!

And adults, you ask questions too! And if you’re too shy to ask, then don’t fucking stare. It’s rude.

All of this is brought to you courtesy of the cutest little chick in the world rocking her helmet like a badass! You go Pea!!!!!