Weekend Eats + food experiments

Happy Monday everyone!!! Who else feels like this entire year has flown by? Emma is 18 months today and my heart just can’t take it. I feel like she was just born, and now we are expecting her baby sister in just 4 short months! Life is moving quickly, and I can’t help but appreciate each moment more and more.

This past weekend was just…so nice. We spent the weekend together as a family and enjoyed every moment of it. For our family, our weekends are typically busier than the workweek, and I often times find myself looking forward to work to rest and relax a bit. Weird, huh? Well, this is the first weekend where we had zero plans expect for church and a few errands. It was so low-key and relaxing…what weekends were meant for!

I will say that the eats I’ll be sharing are different than what you’ve seen on this blog lately. I’m experimenting with my body, but most importantly my brain and mindset. More on this later as I’m still trying to figure things out, but I thought I’d share anyway and show how “healthy choices” are not always so black and white!

But let’s backtrack to Friday! I went to work and met with one of my dear friends for lunch! Our plan was Chipotle but they were out of rice (um, what?) so we went to Blaze Pizza instead. I LOVE their green stripe pizza, so I got that with a side salad. This meal was so so good!

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 11.05.52 AM.png

Friday night was just a usual night of youth group. My husband and I are the youth leaders at our church and we so enjoy the time we spend with our church family! We got home pretty late Friday and crashed in bed.

Saturday morning, we enjoyed a family breakfast at home of waffles and eggs! I forgot to snap a good picture, but let’s just say waffles + peanut butter + syrup are the best combination! Then, we headed to a car dealership where we actually had a pretty frustrating experience. By 1pm, my husband and I were both starving and Emma was ready for her nap, so we had a quick lunch while Emma napped and vented to each other about how stressful car dealing is.

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 11.12.54 AM.png

We each got the 2-item plates at Panda Express, and had enough leftovers for Emma once she woke up, as well as some left for dinner! These plates are so massive, so we both listened to our hunger, filled up on the broccoli and the veggies, and stopped when we were full. My husband LOVES Chinese food, so it was nice to enjoy this with him and sit outside in the fresh air.

After lunch, hubby took Emma home and I hit the grocery store. We were out of so many staples, so I stocked up big time. Our Trader Joe’s is remodeling, so while it was difficult to get around, I got the job done and am so excited for our new and improved store to open soon!

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 11.06.06 AM.png


The rest of Saturday was pretty low key. I cleaned the floors at least 10 times as Emma has been throwing food all over the place. We put her down to bed early, watched the Lakers game, then I knocked out at 8:30pm. Oh how I love sleeping early even on the weekends!

Sunday morning consisted of my usual morning routine (quiet time, journaling, Bible study, and my workout!) We got ready for church and headed over for our English service and Sunday school class. I was SO hungry by 11:30 am that I was snapping at everyone (so sorry to my husband and mama!) so we had an early lunch at the local mall’s food court and walked around a bit! I had been craving a sandwich + salad combo, so I tried out Stone Oven for the first time, and was pleasantly surprised! I got the chicken pesto sandwich with with a side salad.

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 11.19.06 AM.png


We walked around the mall a bit, fed Emma once she woke up (we gave her leftover kebab + rice from my husband’s meal) then headed home. We were both in awe at how early we were getting home on a Sunday! We are usually out all day on Sundays, so it was nice to come home and relax. I got a head start on laundry and meal prep, and we enjoyed Emma’s playfulness while we got things done around the house!

For meal prep, I made pasta in the instant pot and roasted vegetables. Meal prep is continuing today, but it felt good to get a few things done and enter the week with food ready to eat in the fridge, which we also enjoyed for dinner!

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 11.06.12 AM.png


Emma went down early again, so we finished up the last 3 episodes of Man in the High Castle. This show is SO good, although I will say season 1 was my favorite. We just finished up season 3, and while it was intense, rarely is a show ever as good as its first season…ammiright?

And so far on this Monday, I have been running errands, cooking, finishing up laundry (will it ever end??) and enjoying a quiet day! Emma is at school for a few hours today, so this pregnant mama is getting all the rest she can!

I hope you all are having a relaxing and enjoyable week so far! Here’s to it being almost-November!








Friday Favorites & Updates

Hello friends! Long time no chat! It's been exactly a month since I've blogged. I've had every intention of keeping up with this place, but with being a working momma and Emma getting more mobile every day, it's been hard to carve out time to consistently blog. It's still such as passion of mine though, so I promise to be more consistent! Anything YOU all would like to see more of in this space? I'd appreciate any ideas in the comments below!

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things that have been on my heart and mind this past month...starting with the best cake smash ever!

1. Emma's cake smash.

Emma thoroughly enjoyed her cake on her first birthday! It was a simple white cake with vanilla frosting and we let her go at it for a couple minutes and then swiftly took it away.

IMG_4863.JPG

And yes, it was a full sugar, full flour, totally regular cake. I didn't make anything sugar-free or organic or anything like that because the truth of the matter is (from the research I've done and children I've worked with), when you restrict a child, they are even more likely to rebel and do things that you don't want them to do. She eats healthy vegetables, proteins, and whole grains 99% of the time and I want her to have a healthy relationship towards treats from the very beginning; starting with the fact that treats are "sometimes" foods, and not "everyday foods" and that it's ok to have a treat on your birthday, then move on with your life.

2. Birthday trip to Disneyland

IMG_4961.JPG

We took Emma to Disneyland the Monday after her birthday and we had a BLAST! She slept for the first two hours which gave my hubby and I sweet time to walk around, grab coffee, and reminisce about our days at Disneyland when we were dating and just married. Disneyland holds a special place in my heart, and now it's even more special to be able to enjoy it with my little tribe!

3. Being Brave

FullSizeRender.jpg

I grabbed this book on a whim at Target and I am so glad I did. Almost every devotional, Bible verse, or motivational quote I've read lately has been on the concept of being brave. Think God is trying to tell me something? All that to say, I highly recommend this book!

IMG_5123.JPG

4. Cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe's.

This stuff has been blowing up my Instagram feed for weeks, so I finally decided to give in and try it. Oh. My. Gosh. WE LOVED IT! Even my husband who needs meat with practically every meal, thoroughly enjoyed this. We used a pesto cream sauce (literally combined a 1/2 cup lite Alfredo with 1 tsp of pesto and mixed it well). Such a good meal and I'll be definitely grabbing a few bags next time I hit up TJ's!

IMG_5108.JPG

5. Kodiak Cakes.

A box of these protein pancakes have been sitting in my pantry for a couple weeks. I finally made them and they were SO good! And all you do is mix the mix with water, so easy! I added a dash of cinnamon to the batter too, because cinnamon. These complemented my spinach scramble nicely and kept me full for quite a while! I highly recommend!

 

I hope you all have had a great week and can pick at least 5 things you are grateful for and are "favorites" in your life! It's always good to have a positive mindset and look for the joy and blessings in our life verses only focusing on what may be stressing us out! Have a great weekend and blessed Mother's Day to all you mommas out there! Not gonne lie, we are rockstars!

Why I'm not running accountability groups anymore

As many of you know, I am a registered dietitian, but I've also been a Beachbody coach for a few years. I love Beachbody's workout programs, and I can honestly say that the programs are what have helped me get in shape and stay in shape post-baby. At-home workouts are my saving grace as a mom! I get to workout at home, pause when Emma needs me or #momlife gets in the way, then press play and continue on. I've built muscle, gained strength, lost weight, and have gained so much confidence though Beachbody and their programs!

I used to run monthly accountability groups, but I decided that for now, I am pressing pause on these groups. There are a few reasons why, so I though I'd explain a bit in this post to clarify what I am doing and how you can work with me moving forward! 

1. My private practice: In addition to being a Beachbody coach, I have my own private practice as a registered dietitian. My heart and my passion are with this business and my clients that meet with me one-on-one, which is why I have not been running accountability groups lately. I have been pouring into and focusing on my private practice clients, and my heart has been filled with so much joy and fulfillment! Working with these women (mostly moms) has been firing me up to help us moms learn how to self-care though healthy eating and nourishing ourselves. So if you are a mom, I want to help YOU figure out how to care for your family by caring for YOURSELF first! This is what my private sessions with these women are all about! Making it easy for us moms to put ourselves first, pour into our cup, and then pour into our families as better, stronger versions of ourselves. If you want a community to join that will help you feel supported, I am launching the brand new Happy Whole Moms groups on Facebook! Click here to join! 

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 9.30.44 AM.png

2. Individualized meal plans: As a dietitian, I firmly believe that there is no one size fits all when it comes to getting healthy. With my private practice clients, I evaluate where they are in their current health, and make a plan based on their individual goals and needs. I love the freedom and knowledge that I have as a dietitian because I am able to tailor-make a plan for each client that I meet with. While I love the 21 day fix container system (aka portion fix) which is the meal plan Beachbody uses, and have even helped me balance out my own meals, I know that this may not work for everyone! Each person has different dietary needs, sources of motivation, and methods of eating that work well for them. I help my one-on-one clients figure this out for themselves, and with that, they gain a powerful tool in their health journey to ensure success for themselves!

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 9.30.39 AM.png

3. Long term accountability: Lastly, I wanted to provide a way to have long-term accountability with my clients as their personal dietitian. My accountability groups ran for 3-4 weeks, and then many clients fell off the wagon and went back to their own unhealthy habits. My Supercharged Accountability packages that I offer though my private practice services give you 2 or 4 months of accountability with me as your cheerleader, friends, source of nutrition knowledge, and dose of inspiration. I started offering these packages around the new year and already see a difference in the clients that purchased and have been working with me since then. 

All that to say, I am still a Beachbody coach and am more than willing to help guide you and encourage you if you want to pick a workout program and ask questions about what Beachbody has to offer. I am simply no longer running my "virtual bootcamps" aka accountability groups, because my energy and focus has been shifting towards my private practice clients and providing longer term accountability in their health journey. If you want to know more about my private practice services, I am hosting free, 15 minute discovery calls where we can chat and see which of my services would work best for your lifestyle! Contact me here to schedule our call!

I can't wait to get to know more of you out there, work closely with you to help you care for yourself and reach your goals, and watch you THRIVE as a mama! 

My Goals and Intentions for 2018

Happy New Year everyone!!!! I am so excited for this year and all the opportunities that are open to us. I hope you all set some goals or intentions for the year to go in the direction you want. Often times, we wonder why our lives feel like a mess, and while life IS messy, having some intentional goals set throughout the year can help us get from where we are to where we want to be. Which is why I set some goals that I would like to share with you all in the hopes of inspiring you to set your own!

IMAGE.JPG

If you saw my previous post, I am using Zig Ziglar's "Wheel of Life" method to set goals for different categories of my life. So, here we go!

1. Personal/social life: I started going to a new mommy group last year and have been on the sidelines for it. I get SO shy around new people and am a big introvert. But, I want to be more intentional and go to the monthly meetings with the hopes of making friends and being more open to what God brings to me! Also, another goal in this area of my life is monthly date nights with the hubby!! We are kicking off our first one tonight and I am so excited! :)

2. Blog: I want to be more consistent on this blog because I love to write. And guess what, you can help me with this! What would you like to see MORE of on my blog?? Daily eats? Workout motivation? Recipes? Mom life? Let me know! I also am working on a new site that I hope to launch later this month, so look out for that!

3. Family life: my husband and I want to do more things with our baby now that she is older and so much more interactive! We've discussed some family vacations we want to take, as well as just honoring our down time over the weekends and not stretching ourselves too thin with our obligations!

IMG_1078.JPG

4. Spiritual life: I am determined to get back into my spiritual disciplines of quiet time, Bible reading, and prayer in the mornings! We also serve as the youth leaders at our church and my goal is to do more with the girls in our group now that Emma is older and I will (maybe) have more of my attention to give to the group on Friday nights. But as always, a baby is unpredictable, but I plan on doing my best!

5. Money: we want to SAVE more this year, and specifically save a certain amount every month to use on Christmas gifts next year. We love Christmas shopping but don't like our credit card statements the following month. We also want to be good stewards of the money and blessings that God has bestowed on us, so we are praying for constant wisdom on that as well!

6. Mindset/intellect: my goal is to read one personal development book and one fun book each month. I also want to read more REAL books vs. iBooks, because I love the smell of books and the feel of the pages between my fingers, and hate how glued I already am to my phone! I kicked off this goal with an amazon order of some books I've had on my wish list!

IMG_0981.JPG

7. Health: my goal is to continue with my gluten free/paleo-ish lifestyle, do 80 day obsession starting January 15th, and keep up with my overall self care of working out and meal prepping and taking care of ME, so I can better care for my family. I've been feeling amazing and so energetic the past couple months, and I always want to feel this way. It's so true that good habits bring about more good habits, and once you start, you'll always want to feel great and treat your body with the respect it deserves!

Your turn! I would love to hear what some of your goals are for the coming year. Don't be afraid to set some big, scary ones too (I didn't share ALL of my goals with y'all, because boundaries!) but I hope you know that the bigger your goals, the more you'll grow and stretch. You were made for great things, my friends! Believe it and live it!

 

Finding my HAPPY...and how you can too

It's no secret that I am the happiest that I have been in quite some time. Heck, I even changed my Instagram name to happywholeeats.RD because I want everyone to experience the peace, joy, and overall happiness I've felt. I am so thankful to God for this and for His direction and wisdom in this crazy ride called life! I hope this post helps someone out there find their own happy too, and know that I am always here to help!

IMG_8759.PNG

I don't think people realize how important the foods we eat are, not only to our health but our overall quality of life. This post is about just that. How I've found my happy through the foods I'm eating and choosing, and hopefully, how you can too.

It’s been 1 month since I have gone 100% gluten free. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that my history with eating gluten free has been rocky. And if you just started following along, let me recap you so you are all caught up. It’s storytime, ladies and gentleman!

Back in 2012, I was diagnosed with a severe gluten intolerance after months of bloating, basically looking pregnant, and uncontrollable gas that kept me home most nights instead of out with friends because...embarrassing! Cutting out gluten eased these symptoms almost immediately, and I was grateful to finally find a way of eating that worked and didn't' send me running to the bathroom after each meal like I had done since I was a little girl.

All was fine and well until I started dating my then boyfriend, now hubby, Vasken. I didn’t want to be a high maintenance eater (even though he NEVER made me feel that way and even researched restaurants for gluten free options while planning our dates!) so I decided to slowly start incorporating gluten back into my diet. My stomach issues came back, but I wanted to ignore them, because I had missed all my gluten-containing foods SO much. I lived for bread baskets at restaurants, Panera cookies, and of course, my beloved Wetzel Preztel cinnamon bitz. I kept going back to my gluten free diet when I started feeling sick again, then hated the deprivation and went right back to binging on all of my favorite gluten-containing foods. It was years of this on again, off again routine with me, and I hated the inconsistency and the stomach issues that it was causing. I also wanted to be “free” with my food choices, but now I realized I was wanting this freedom as a way to binge on all of my favorite foods when times got tough, and at the expense of causing severe digestive distress, as well as brain fog, allergy symptoms, dark circles under my eyes, and constant anxiety. This went on for years and years, and the frustration with my health, stomach issues, and binging grew.

During pregnancy, I was also able to eat pretty much whatever I wanted, which I have heard happens with pregnant women and food sensitivities. Your body is so focused on the BABY, so those types of things take a backseat. And once Emma was born, with breastfeeding hunger and the craziness of life with a newborn, I didn’t really worry about what was going into my mouth. But I hated the fact that I had to cut some nursing sessions short because of my urgent need to use the restroom, or that I couldn't console Emma when she woke up because I was yet again, in the bathroom.

On top of that, going back to work was so hard on me, that I basically binged my way through work days on Oreos, crackers, and chips. This added to my stomach issues, stress, anxiety, and my waistline. At the end of October, I found myself 13 lbs heavier from when I had gone back to work back in August.

So, the morning of Emma’s 6 month birthday celebration, 10/29/17, I decided that enough was enough. I decided to start back up on my gluten free diet then and there. I KNEW that I would feel deprived, so I already had a plan of attack: finding the BEST gluten free and paleo recipes (Against all Grain has been my saving grace!) I could find for my favorite treats, so I would never feel deprived again.

And you know what the crazy part is? I saw improvements, not only in my health and weight, but in my anxiety and moods. I’ve been happier, less stressed out, I don’t cry at work anymore, I don’t binge at work anymore, and I have a more even temper (just ask my hubby). Yes, I lost the 13 lbs I gained, but to me, I’ve gained so much more:

 

  • More restful sleep (which is hard with a baby!)
  • More energy for my workouts
  • Less anxiety/stress
  • Less tears going to work
  • Clearer skin
  • Clearer mind
  • A more positive outlook on life as a working mom
  • Less urgent trips to the restroom
  • Less bloat
  • Trying on clothes I would “never” wear and actually feeling GOOD in them
  • ...and my jeans fit again!

 

And yes, not ALL of this may be attributed to cutting out gluten, but I know many people who have experienced similar benefits when they clean up their diet and start avoiding gluten. I know that I like this version of me way more than the anxious, stressed out, and teary one. I am more energetic, I am a happy healthy mama, I am a better wife, and I am enjoying the heck out of the foods I’ve been cooking and baking!

IMG_8566.JPEG

And the truth of the matter is, gluten is an inflammatory agent. So we know that eating less gluten is healthier for us all in general. Check out this post for more of the science on that.

All this to say, I feel the healthiest and happiest I have felt in a good long while. And I want everyone I know to experience this type of joy when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle! The fact that I have been happier has been more motivating for me to stick to it than anything else. And, these cookies have made it easier as well!

My wish is to work with my clients from now on with a more holistic approach, and really dive into which foods may be helping their health (mind, body, and soul), and which foods may be hurting their health. Not everyone will be sensitive to gluten, because we are all different. My aim is to help you INDIVIDUALLY assess your health and create a plan that works best for YOU.

And what better time than now to start? My 2018 packages are a great and affordable way to get the complete package of working 1:1 with me as your own personal dietitian. These packages will only be available until December 29th, so take advantage of them now!

You only have one life to live on this earth. So why not live it as your happiest, energetic, and most vibrant version of yourself? Make 2018 your BEST year and let’s figure out how you can find your own HAPPY when it comes to eating and living well!

 

The Mind, Food, and Mood Connection

It is common knowledge that what we eat affects our body and appearance. If we eat too much of the wrong foods, we tend to gain weight. If we eat more nourishing foods, we tend to lose weight. But what has been more interesting to me is how the food I have been eating lately has been impacting my MENTAL health, not just physical health.

IMG_8218.PNG
**Now, as a disclaimer, mental health has a WIDE spectrum, and I am not assuming that food can cure any mental health disorders. I am just sharing my experience and how changing what I’ve been eating has been helping my mood and my mental state. But PLEASE seek medical advice and attention if you are struggling with mental health, it is real and it NEEDS to be taken care of.

This post is going to be raw and real, because I’m all about sharing my real life with you guys and not hiding anything. I've learned that vulnerability is a part of healing, and also helps inspire others to make changes and grow as well. It’s been no secret that going back to work after Emma was born was rough on me. I only work three days a week, but those days were filled with panic attacks in the bathroom, crying on my way to work, crying when I picked Emma up from daycare, and LOTS of oreo purchases to “get me through the day.” I thought that I could only make it through the emotional ups and downs of the work day by numbing myself with food. But in reality, it just made it worse.

The anxiety and sadness got out of hand. I would burst into tears during work meetings and have to excuse myself. If I wasn’t eating, I was crying. Food was DEFINITELY my coping mechanism, but it also just seemed to numb the pain for a little while, and then it would return with a vengeance and my moods would spiral down again. The days that I was home with Emma were filled with tears as well because I knew that I would have to leave her the next day. I wasn’t being able to actually ENJOY my baby and the time I had with her. I knew this cycle had to stop.

IMG_7855.JPG

 

Being the dietitian and holistic-health proponent that I am, I began doing research on different foods and how they can impact our mind-body connection. One of these foods is gluten. Gluten and I have had a tumultuous relationship over the years. I have a gluten sensitivity and have been told by my doctor over and over again that I need to be on a gluten-free diet. But, I have always told myself that I loveeeeee gluten too much. Such as excuse, you guys. Ready for a science lesson? I hope so!

The thing about gluten is that it stimulates the release of a protein that can actually cause permeability in our gut. Our gastrointestinal (or GI) tract, is considered to be OUTSIDE of our body. It is lined very carefully to protect the INSIDE of our body (anything other than our gut) from receiving undigested food particles, germs, or anything else we ingest. But gluten causes the secretion of a protein called zonulin, which can cause permeability in our gut, allowing particles to pass through and enter our body, where they don’t belong. Food should go straight to our small intestines to get “digested” properly so our body can use the fuel safely. But, with zonulin, the permeability can cause undigested food particles to enter our bloodstream, cause inflammation since these particles are not digested yet, and can also cause symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, and even depression. This is all new and up and coming research, but it fascinated me and makes sense from what I’ve learned in my seven years of schooling to become a dietitian and get my masters in nutrition. Our gut is considered our “second brain” and impacts how we think and feel SO much, so this finding is super interesting to me and motivated me to cut out gluten  with a  new motive: not only to alleviate my stomach issues and bloating, but also to alleviate the mental ups and downs I had been experiencing.

I have also read the book “Grain Brain” in the past, which I highly suggest for anyone wanting to know more on this topic! The author discusses how not only gluten, but also grains, can impact our mental health and lead to issues such as depression, alzheimer's, and other mental health concerns. Of course, following a certain diet is not going to magically cure these issues, btu they can alleviate symptoms, which is what I experienced.

I started back on my gluten free diet on October 29th, and since then, I’ve been happier and more energetic. Yes I've lost some weight and bloat, and my jeans fit again (YAY!), but I am more amazed by my mental shift. I am just HAPPIER. I have been getting creative in the kitchen and am not missing any of my favorite treats thanks to Danielle Walker and her amazing paleo recipes (check her out here!) My husband has been enjoying our meals and my happy moods more, and we’ve spent LESS on groceries and eating out because we always have food ready and are buying less junk! I have SO much energy for my workouts, for my patients and clients, and for my family, and feel like I am finally living each day to its full potential.

Another change I’ve made is increasing my healthy fat intake. I have always been a fan of eating more fat, but I’ve been incorporating these fats into practically every snack and meal. I'll have grain free baked goods made with coconut flour, almond flour, grass fed butter, and coconut oil, I'll add avocado to my salads and lettuce wrapped burgers, and I am not afraid to eat yolks scrambled in ghee. I've been getting a variety of healthy fats in my diet, which boosts brain function because our brains thrive on healthy fats! 

 The BEST  cookies  I've ever had! I've made countless batches already because my husband and now, our extended family, can't get enough!

The BEST cookies I've ever had! I've made countless batches already because my husband and now, our extended family, can't get enough!

 

Overall, I am enjoying this journey and am embracing this life of mine, being a working mom and a stay at home mom in the same week, which I am learning is SUCH a blessing! I feel so much better and didn’t cry at all at work this week! (WIN!) Of course I still miss my baby girl like crazy, but I focusing on taking care of ME because this way, I can be a better mom for Emma. I am working out daily, drinking my superfoods (which are full of adaptogens, which also impact your brain chemistry! But I'll save that scientific post for another day!), and am eating foods that I know will nourish my body, my soul, AND my mind.

If you want to get involved with eating for your BRAIN health too, I would love to go through the Grain Brain book together in a virtual book club format! Warning, this book is definitely for nerds, so come ready to learn and grow! Contact me above if you want to be part of the book club! We'll start the first week of December!

ALSO, I am planning on doing more cooking demos and recipe videos in my free facebook community that I run, so if you want to join, contact me! I can add you and you can get access to the meals I’ve been planning, as well as get meal prep and planning tips and tricks from yours truly! Meal prep has been my saving grace for sticking to my gluten free diet, so I am passionate about making it a regular part of my life, as well as yours!

Thank you for reading and for supporting me through the ups and downs of this journey. At times, I don't want to share what I am going through, because I feel that my journey has been such a crazy ride. But, I am a real person, and real life is a roller coaster! What may work in one season of life (ie. my vegetarian diet last year), may not work in another season of life, like this one! My goal with this blog and platform is to share my nutrition knowledge based on research but also my own personal experiences too. Because we are all scientific experiments and each body is so unique and different. So keep figuring yourself out, get curious and find what works for you! And if you need some guidance along the way, I am always here to lend an ear! Feel free to contact me with any questions!

 

 





 

Weekend Recap: Disney edition!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend...I know I sure did! I feel like I'm still coming down from a major high over the weekend...because over the weekend...Emma, my mom, and I all went to Disneyland! TWICE! 

Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 10.08.40 AM.png

It's always been a dream of mine to be a mommy and take my kiddos to Disneyland. I am a BIG Disney fan and the movies, songs, and theme park will always have a special place in my heart! So for my birthday, my amazing Mama bought us annual passes to Disneyland! I was thrilled, and after checking in with a few other mommas who all encouraged me that Emma was at a great age for Disneyland, we were so excited to finally take her!

We went Friday and Saturday for a few hours each day. They were seriously the best days EVER! The first day, we got there around 11 and headed to lunch because we were starving. We had those delicious burgers up top with some garlic fries at the Red Rose Tavern...so good!

Then we went on the small world ride, the Winnie the Pooh ride, and the tiki room! Emma loved it all! She was so engrossed with the music and the characters and was taking it all in! 

We also got Emma this adorable Minnie Mouse sweat set...ahhhhhh I'm going to have to watch my wallet because all of their baby clothes are so adorable!!! We came home Friday with such full hearts, that we impromptu decided to make another trip Saturday!

We got to Disneyland a little later Saturday, and since the park was pretty packed, we ate a quick lunch of chicken nuggets and fries. I am not a fan of chicken nuggets, but we just wanted to get lunch out of the way so we could at least go on a ride! Next time, we may pack lunches with us to save some time!

I also enjoyed some ice cream which didn't really feel good on the tummy later. Oh well, I tend to forget that I am sensitive to dairy, because ice cream is so delicious! But such is life. After lunch and ice cream, we went on the Snow White ride, shopped a little more, and headed home. Such a great day again!

On Sunday, my parents wanted to take me out to lunch for my birthday, so hubby, Emma, my mom, dad, and I all headed to Lucille's! I've been trying to eat more of a plant based diet but clearly, I haven't been too strict about it! Lucille's is definitely not a place to go if you want to eat more plant-based, but the food was still delicious! I am planing on getting back to my plant based ways this week (while practicing intuitive eating with my portion control containers!) but I definitely enjoyed this meal!

We spent the rest of the day at an outdoor shopping area, had a light dinner, then headed home. It was such a great birthday weekend spent with family, Disney characters, and with my sweet baby girl! I am so grateful for another year of life and what 29 will bring! God is so good and has blessed me year after year, and my heart is full entering into this new year, now as a mommy! Thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes! I felt very loved this year and appreciate all of you! :) 

 


 

Mommyland Joy

Emma is almost 20 weeks old! I can't believe how fast the time is going. Make it stop!! I already miss the weeks she used to sleep on my chest. But, I do love all the smiles and snuggles that she gives us now. I love that when she's crying and I hold her, she snuggles against my neck and stops. I love that when she sees my hubby and I in the morning, she's so excited her arms and legs can't take it! I love that she loves to sleep snuggled on our arms.

IMG_5127.JPG

 

IMG_5171.JPG

Motherhood has been an amazing journey so far and I know that it's only just begun! I think being a mom has been the most amazing and hardest thing that I've ever done. It's so hard to feel guilty for practically everything. And I know that only other moms get what I mean. 

Emma got her first cold from daycare. Emma is teething. Emma has a stuffy nose. Emma has gas. Emma is crying and we don't know why, and somehow, it feels like everything is my fault!  

Deep down I know it's not, but sometimes I need my mom or my husband to remind me of that. 

But the best parts for me are the days it's Emma and I at home. I am blessed to be home with her twice a week and I enjoy those days to the utmost. We snuggle, I feed her, I bathe her, we sing and read, and enjoy my sweet girl so much! And no; showers typically don't happen on these days. But who cares?? 

 

It's been hard on my mommy-heart to go back to work, but this morning I kept telling myself "this is the day that the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it." I'm making it through and I know Emma is being taken care of. 

I absolutely love being a mom. I dreamed about being a mom my entire life and I feel incredibly blessed that God fulfilled my dreams! We thank God each day for baby Emma! She brings us so much joy and we love watching her grow and discover new things. 

Mommyhood has been the most joyful time of my life. Thank you all for reading and following and enjoying baby Emma along with us!  

 

IMG_5354.JPG
IMG_5230.JPG
IMG_5122.JPG
IMG_4586.JPG